Microsoft lopped off the Kinect from its Xbox One in May to help the system sell better, but it’s not getting rid of the motion-tracking camera peripheral.
The company announced today that a standalone version of the Kinect for Xbox One will go on sale starting Oct. 7. For $150, gamers will get both the camera and developer Harmonix’s full-body rhythm game Dance Central Spotlight. At least for now, the company isn’t announcing plans to sell Kinect without a game. Xbox One originally debuted in November with the 3D camera add-on included for $500. After falling far behind Sony’s $400 PlayStation 4 in sales, Microsoft made the decision to drop that bundle in an effort to match PS4 on price.
The Kinect camera enables you to control releases like Dance Central Spotlight with your body. You can also use its built-in microphone to perform voice commands throughout Xbox One’s operating system. Saying things like “Xbox, go home” toward your TV, will instantly take you back to the home screen. Microsoft positioned that voice-control capability as one of the key features of the Xbox One as a media device since Kinect also enabled you to quickly jump between channels by saying things like “Xbox, watch ESPN.” Some of us even feel like this is one of the Xbox One’s best features.
Dance Central Spotlight is the latest entry in the rhythm series, and it debuts as a standalone download on Sept. 2 for $10. At that price, it includes 10 songs — players can then purchase up to another 50 tracks piecemeal from the Xbox Games store.
By including a $10 game, the standalone Kinect is getting something of a price increase. Gamers who purchased a launch bundle of the Xbox One plopped down $500 for the system and the Kinect. To get those items new today, you’d have to spend $550 (and you get a game, too).