May 13th 2014 8:00 am PT

Delivering More Choices for Fans

The following blog post has been posted on Xbox Wire from Phil Spencer.  Since many of you can’t visit while at the office, I am posting the full text here so you don’t miss anything

Since the beginning, we have focused on delivering great games and entertainment experiences for you. Your feedback matters to us and it shapes the products and services we build. Your feedback showed up in the Xbox One console we launched back in November and in the monthly updates we’ve delivered since.

Today, we’re excited to share more ways your feedback is impacting the products we build.

First, beginning on June 9th, in all markets where Xbox One is sold, we will offer Xbox One starting at $399*. This is a new console option that does not include Kinect. For $399, our new Xbox One offering will continue to deliver access to the best blockbuster games like “Titanfall,” “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Dead Rising 3,” and the upcoming “Watch Dogs,” “Destiny” and “Sunset Overdrive.” You will also be able to access popular entertainment apps, such as Twitch, YouTube, and Netflix, as well as watch live TV and use OneGuide. Finally, you will continue to be able to use many of the unique features of Xbox One including the ability to get game invites while you watch TV, switch between games and entertainment apps, enjoy Twitch broadcasts, and upload your favorite gaming moments.

Next, we’re bringing more value to our Xbox Live Gold members while extending the entertainment experiences available through Xbox to every connected console. So, also starting in June, we will roll out a new set of benefits for our Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One and we will offer anyone who owns an Xbox 360 or Xbox One access to popular games and entertainment apps without an Xbox Live Gold membership. Here is what you can expect from the new generation of Xbox Live:

• Free games with Games with Gold**. Since Games with Gold launched on Xbox 360 a year ago, over 12 million people have enjoyed great free games, resulting in nearly 200 million hours of free fun playing Games with Gold titles. We’ve been learning from your feedback and have focused on making improvements each month to the selection of titles. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Games with Gold for Xbox 360 and as a thank you for helping shape this program, members will receive an additional free Xbox 360 game in June. The Games with Gold titles for Xbox 360 in June are “Dark Souls,” “Charlie Murder” and a bonus game of “Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition.”

We’re pleased to bring Games with Gold to Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One in June. Members will have subscription-based access to free games ranging from top hits to breaking indie stars. The program will launch on Xbox One with “Max: The Curse of Brotherhood” and “Halo: Spartan Assault.” A single Gold membership will get you access to the free games for both Xbox One and Xbox 360.

• Exclusive Discounts. Deals with Gold will also launch for Xbox One in June, delivering discounts for great games each month, with significant savings for Xbox Live Gold members. The first titles offered in June will include “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Ryse: Son of Rome,” and a few other surprises. This program will continue to be available for Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox 360. And new on Xbox One, we will launch a virtual VIP room exclusive to Xbox Live Gold members where we will feature free games, monthly deals, and other great benefits.

• Popular entertainment apps will be available for all Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners. Xbox 360 has been a leader in delivering entertainment experiences for years, with over 170 global entertainment apps and experiences available today. We’re constantly adding new partners and experiences to the growing catalog on Xbox One. Coming in June, anyone with an Xbox will be able to access popular entertainment experiences – whether or not you have an Xbox Live Gold membership. This includes great gaming apps like Machinima, Twitch and Upload, popular video services like Netflix, Univision Deportes, GoPro, Redbull and HBO Go, sports experiences like the NFL app for Xbox One,, NBA Game Time, NHL Game Center and more.*** Microsoft experiences including Internet Explorer, Skype, OneDrive and OneGuide will also be available to all Xbox customers.**** You can find a full list of apps and features that will be available below and here.

We’ve heard that you want more choices from Xbox One. You want a wide variety of options in your games and entertainment experiences and you also want options in your hardware selection.
To be clear, as we introduce this new Xbox One console option, Kinect remains an important part of our vision. Many of you are using Kinect for Xbox One every day. In fact, more than 80 percent of you are actively using Kinect, with an average of 120 voice commands per month on each console. Some of the most popular voice commands include “Xbox On,” “Xbox Broadcast” and “Xbox Record That.” We will continue to offer a premium Xbox One with Kinect bundle to deliver voice and gesture controls, biometric sign-in, instant personalization, instant scanning of QR codes, and enhanced features only available with Kinect in games such as “Kinect Sports Rivals,” “Just Dance 2014,” “Project Spark” and more.

If you buy Xbox One for $399 and later decide you want to have all the experiences Kinect enables, we will also offer a standalone sensor for Xbox One later this fall. We’ll share more details about the standalone Kinect for Xbox One in the coming months.


*Suggested retail price; actual prices will vary by market and retailer. Games sold separately. Some apps, including Netflix, require app-provider provider specific subscriptions and/or additional requirements For more details, go to
** Free Games Offer: For paid Gold members only. On Xbox One, active Gold membership required to play free games you’ve downloaded. Must download titles during designated window. Kinect and/or hard drive required for some games.
*** Available apps and experiences vary between Xbox 360 and Xbox One and by market. Some apps including Netflix, Hulu, NFL, ESPN, NBA and NHL may require app provider-specific subscriptions and/or additional requirements .GoPro and HBO Go currently only on Xbox 360; Coming soon to Xbox One.
****Skype, OneDrive and OneGuide currently only on Xbox One

Xbox One By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • Mr&Mrs Ninja

    THANK YOU! I knew what meant by “deal with it” just lol @funny_things:disqus people here are just WOW! you know what I mean?

  • Matt Honan

    Just waiting for them to announce some crazy cool tech device like the Oculus rift that can pair with the Kinect… I don’t mind the Kinect. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t. I can see how the next generation raised with this will be more comfortable with it. Remember San Francisco Examiner, John C. Dvorak, 19 Feb. 1984 “The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things.”

    • ImTheMetalLord

      Awesome ‘point’!!!

    • MrUgly

      Kinect 3.0 lol

  • CDMAss

    I’m also waiting for the slim version. I can’t stand the look of it now.

  • Michael Burden

    No, but I did say it would be a big mistake if they did. You are greatly exagerating the demise of the Kinect. Once Microsoft unveils their VR/AR offerings for the One (which everyone knows is coming), the demand for the unit will be there for even the haters like yourself as it would not be possible without Kinect or some other camera system.

  • Mitchell Hall

    Sure. sell it to game stop. you’re not getting 100 bucks for it though.

  • Death Dealer

    I don’t think that’s completely possible unless MS allow developers to turn all the Kinect functions off when a game starts. But this will gimp functionality for everybody that has bought it with the Kinect previously and basically make it as functional as the Xbox 360 version, which wouldn’t be the way to go IMO.
    They might as well reenable the 2 redundant units while they’re at it. They aren’t laser cut on the die and redundancy be damned.

  • Bewafa

    I just do not like the idea of plugging in an additional gadget to the already ugly thing that sits underneath the tv (not kinect). I just wish it was a removable internal hdd, like ps4.

  • deadbox102

    Yet they’re going to start giving away games.

  • deadbox102

    I enjoy Kinect. While it is very limited in its usefulness in gaming, it comes in very handy in navigating menus and switching between apps. Being able to have my profile log in when I walk in the room is nice also.

  • ZappyKins

    But then you lose features such as ‘Xbox, Record that’ for the people that have Kinect.

  • billy middleton

    I’ve been in the gold rewards program since day one and I have been silver for 3 months during that time and the games I got before my gold ran out still works even though I was no longer gold at that time.

    I read the message up top but to get FREE GAMES ON GOLD you need a GOLD ACCOUNT even after the gold account runs out you STILL HAVE THE FULL WORKING GAME


    You could of disconnect the kinect on day one. Microsoft change that requirement before the launch.

  • ImTheMetalLord

    Unplug it and sell it. You’ll get almost $100 for it. People use them for other things than gaming. Like ghost hunting.

  • deadbox102

    Giving the fact that the X1 is more than just games, I would say its a good fit for those who wish to take advantage of the other features the console offers. Kinect also opens the possibility for the gamer to truly have dialogue with the characters in the game. To be able to have a character react to the expression on your face is intriguing. Don’t be so quick to discard Kinect for gaming.

  • Peter

    agreed 10% is not going to suddenly unlock vast stores of untapped graphical power they aren’t going to make 2 separate machines because thats just dumb kinect will still be there supported as well as probably still selling kinects by themselves.

    ms takes a whole lot of hd space for the os alone just in case. Ms isn’t going to remove this requirement overall. Redundancy is the key word here.

  • Peter

    Agreed not sure where all the kinect 2 hate comes from. Is it gimmicky at times sure did ms bundle it to make an extra hundred yeah

    but you can’t say it doesn’t work. Its not perfect but it works well with skype and games like just dance. If it was further developed and supported by developers there is the possibility for it to be a good peripheral for gaming

  • Guest

    Xbox one is an inferior piece of junk. Microsoft calls it next gen?? lol
    maybe 5 years ago… The should of called it Xbox 360 2.0.

  • GmailIsDown

    i am still waiting for the day that Cortana will show up in my room and talk to me. with Kinect and Xbox One AR glasses it might not be too far. maybe they will integrate some kind of AR feature with Cortana with Halo 5, who knows.

  • GmailIsDown

    without Kinect, why would anyone buy an Xbox One over PS4 then? it has weaker specs and the new features are pretty much all Kinect based. now that the multiplayer experience on PSN has improved a lot, i don’t see the point.

  • Satsumo

    I don’t agree they listened to the MASS – I think they listened to the VOCAL MINORITY. But unless someone does a full survey we’ll have to agree to disagree ;)
    Oh – and I actually liked their original DRM offering. I would have been able to buy digital copies of games with confidence, knowing I could sell them back. Now, however, Ghost sits on my X1 without me getting a sniff of a 2nd hand sale. (But that’s a whole different topic, right?)

  • Jeremy Filth

    Like I said, nobody will buy a Used kinect for ALMOST $100.

  • Bush

    the death? what are you talking about? it is an option now!

    it is win win all round, people who want it they can have it and people who dont care about it are not forced to buy it.

    it is not like they have stopped making them. it should have been this way from the start.

  • Michael Burden

    Even if that was what Mattrick said, where is he now and how much of his vision for the system remains? Yup no longer with in charge of the Xbox division or with Microsoft – heading up Zynga where his vision is a better fit – and nearly everything he unveiled has been changed. Not to mention he left the company before the launch of the system and many of the changes that were made to the ecosystem.

    And while you can infer that from Harrison’s answer there, he never comes out and plainly states that it will never be sold without it as the guy above put in quotes. Then again, at that time there was no plan to sell it as a seperate unit and the division was under different management. Changes in leadership sometimes lead to changes in strategy, in this case for the better for the most part (though I still think it is a mistake for Microsoft to sell it separately).

  • Mr&Mrs Ninja

    That’s because for every 4 Kinect that are released only 1 of those were good. I wished games like fight night champion, COD, or even a few RPGs (besides skyrim) would have used it some how. Like throwing knives in COD or something. I played a few good Kinect games and I still see potential. There’s few arcade, maybe 1 or 2 good fitness games, Dance Central was really fun, and maybe a few fighters that were good. But besides those…. there were new ideas. Also a lot devs just use small things like yelling orders or looking at guns ….BORING!
    I wish devs can come up with new ideas for the new Kinect and just being lazy! Maybe make a boxing game…I don’t know… what you guys think? They actually listen to us so maybe if we push a few ideas… they will actually hear them.

  • Mr&Mrs Ninja

    Mrs Ninja: I share an account with my fiancé/ martial arts teacher/ baby daddy. ¿Eres feliz? If all you have is negativity keep it moving… Nate

  • StormRaging

    MS never threatened to spin off/sell the division. Investors wanted them to. But most people think it was just investors seeing how much influence they could get over the new CEO.

  • Michael Burden

    We are more hardcore than you as we aren’t afraid of new gaming experiences and anxious to try them.

  • Michael Burden

    Absolutely correct – most of these people going around claiming to be “hardcore” gamers are anything but that – most of them are actually niche gamers that play only one type of game. Just playing CoD and other dude-bro shooters does not make you hardcore – playing and enjoying a wide range of games does!

  • ImTheMetalLord

    Dang you. Why did you take the time to give them their list? LOL

  • Jason Renfro

    I am not sure why they never thought to do a monthly game like a rental. It would sell more games if people found them worth it. Imagine 7 or 8 months in a copy of Ryse for the month and if you liked it a discounted digital version for you to buy at the end of the month. With digital revenues increasing every year on add-ons and expansions it would be genius.

  • beardyman3218

    Thanks, point 1, the 10% is only there for intensive tasks I believe such as reading heart rate, temperature ect, there isn’t a need for so many resources for doing simple things like voice commands. Point 2, the reservation will be removed for all users regardless of kinevt being plugged in or not as it will have no affect on how kinect works within the ui it only means that when you play a kinect intensive game it will bring the reservation back if that makes sense. They were going to do thisbefore the new SKU was announced.

  • beardyman3218

    Agreed, ms has the answers but 10% I was referring to was taken from GPU for the kinect to process movement in games such as kinect sports etc and some ui function but when freed up won’t affect how kinect interacts with the system . That’s what I meant by voice commands and gestures not being affected as these would be processed by kinect and then x1’s CPU.there is quite a few articles on it this is a quote from ms”The current reservation provides strong isolation between the title and the system and simplifies game development – strong isolation means that the system workloads, which are variable, won’t perturb the performance of the game rendering. In the future, we plan to open up more options to developers to access this GPU reservation time while maintaining full system functionality.”

  • Jan Václavík

    It would punish developers who want to release single player game without ton of add-ons…

  • Jan Václavík

    People dont want unique, they want Xbox 360 with more pixels and polygons.