Microsoft to Sell $399 Kinect-free Xbox One on June 9, Ease Live Gold Restrictions for Streaming

Posted on May 13, 2014 2:01 PM by Rob Williams

Both the Xbox platform, and Xbox One in particular, have had a couple of glaring issues. For starters, anyone who’s wanted to subscribe to a service like Netflix or Hulu have needed to also have an Xbox Live Gold subscription – a tall order since the price of that comes close to the price of Netflix. Well, soon, that restriction will no long exist.

To say that this move is long overdue would be a major understatement. Microsoft should have never required an XBL Gold subscription to take advantage of totally standard online services like this. I have friends, who last generation, played all their games on the Xbox 360 but kept their PS3s just so they’d be able to stream Netflix without a mandatory subscription to the console-maker’s totally unrelated service.

Microsoft Xbox One

Sheesh – I can’t overstate just how overdue this change is.

Another somewhat overdue change is Microsoft’s offering of a Kinect-free Xbox One. Since the console’s launch, this has been wanted for a couple of reasons: Some people simply don’t want it, and others don’t want to pay $100 more than what the PS4 costs in order to get it. It’s easy to understand why Microsoft would have preferred 100% of Xbox Ones have Kinect, since it gives confidence to developers that they’re safe to expect that people will have it, but $100 is a lot of money, especially when it results in something you might not take advantage of.

Nonetheless, for those who wish for such a console, you’ll be able to get it on June 9 for $399.

A $399 Xbox One, along with the new ability to stream Netflix and Hulu without an XBL Gold subscription, could bring on some impressive results. Since their respective launch, Sony’s been comfortably selling more units than Microsoft – we’ll have to wait and see if Microsoft’s latest changes helps turn that tide.

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