When Microsoft announced a new Xbox One bundle with a Kinect camera earlier this month, that package came in at a surprisingly high $500 price. That was the same price the console/camera combo launched at nearly two years ago (though the new bundle does throw in three Kinect-powered games: Dance Central Spotlight, Kinect Sports Rivals and Zoo Tycoon). In any case, the Kinect no longer costs quite as much. That same bundle has now been lowered to $400, just $50 more than the standalone Xbox One system. In addition, those who want to purchase a Kinect on its own after the fact can now get one for $100, down from $150.
US sales for the Xbox One immediately doubled month-to-month when Microsoft unbundled Kinect from the standard package, suggesting there isn’t an overly large market for the 3D camera and directional microphone array. This latest price drop could be seen as more evidence that Microsoft is having trouble moving as much Kinect hardware as it wants at current prices (while the price drop is officially a “limited time promotional offer,” the Xbox One price cut to $350 was also temporary before it became permanent).
Then again, this price cut could just be the result of the usual cost reductions that apply to most technology as it ages. Perhaps Microsoft is trying to get more Kinect hardware into homes before the rollout of additional, Cortana-style voice commands in the Xbox One’s New User Experience next month.