$400 Xbox One without Kinect coming June 9, drops Live Gold requirement for streaming

The cheaper price represents a major shift for Microsoft, as does a decision to drop the $60 annual fee to access streaming content such as Netflix and YouTube.

Microsoft's Xbox One.
Sarah Tew/CNET

For everyone who felt the Xbox One is too expensive, Microsoft has apparently heard your complaints.

Microsoft announced that a new $400 Xbox One (£350 in UK) is coming June 9 that does not include the Kinect peripheral. Additionally, the Xbox One and Xbox 360 will no longer require a Live Gold subscription to access streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and HBO Go. A Live Gold subscription will also not be needed for some premium services on the Xbox One, such as OneGuide, Internet Explorer, and Skype.

There will still be some services that are exclusive to Live Gold subscribers, including the "Games with Gold" program, cloud game saves, and Game DVR. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Games with Gold, Live Gold subscribers will receive an additional free Xbox 360 game in June. Additionally, Microsoft announced that both "Games with Gold" and "Deals with Gold" will come to the Xbox One in June.

The cheaper Xbox One model will allow Microsoft to match the $399 PS4 on price, along with removing the nearly required $60 yearly fee that raised the Xbox One's total cost of ownership. The subscription fee was an anomaly among living room devices, with other devices, such as the Google Chromecast, Roku boxes, and, most importantly, the PS4, having no comparable charges to access streaming services.

 

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