Microsoft are finally going to release a standalone Kinect 2 for Xbox One 4 months after releasing Kinect-less Xbox One SKUs. The standalone Kinect 2 will be released on October 7th and cost £129.99 in the UK and $149.99 in North America. (Expect equivalent prices for other regions.) Unfortunately there’s no Kinect Adventures 2, or at least it hasn’t been announced, but Kinect 2 will come with a free Dance Central Spotlight code so you can download the main game which comes with 10 tracks. Here’s more info from Xbox Wire:

Xbox One Standalone Kinect Sensor Available in October

Since we announced the availability of a new Xbox One console option for $399, we have been excited by the response from fans. While we’ve seen our Xbox One sales double since the new Xbox One option became available, we have also seen increased demand for Xbox One with Kinect.

When we announced the new Xbox One option, we also shared that we would deliver a standalone Kinect sensor for people that chose to purchase the sensor at a later date. We’ve always believed in the magic Kinect brings to Xbox One and today we’re excited to confirm that, beginning in October 7, fans will be able to purchase a standalone Kinect sensor for Xbox One. The standalone Kinect sensor comes with
Dance Central Spotlight, the latest in the dance series from developer Harmonix, which will be available as a digital download and features a soundtrack of 10 hot tracks. Kinect with Dance Central Spotlight will be available at retailers for $149.99.

Xbox One is better with Kinect, making games, TV and entertainment come alive with premium experiences. The 
Kinect experience includes 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, Dead Rising 3Project Spark, and more. We believe Xbox One is better with Kinect, offering unlimited possibilities, and we’re seeing our fans use Kinect for Xbox One every day, with billions of voice commands since launch. Only with Kinect can you quickly navigate by using popular voice commands such as “Xbox On”, “Xbox Broadcast” and “Xbox Record That.” Twitch, Game DVR, and Upload are just a few of the experiences that are better with Kinect – for voice broadcasting, recording gameplay and Natural Voice search via Bing. Video calls on Skype are made possible with Kinect and Kinect enables you to control your TVs and set-top boxes via voice and HDMI-In, so you can turn your TV on and off, change the volume, or navigate to a channel by saying “Xbox watch ESPN”.


We’re excited to offer you more choices for purchasing Xbox One – with Kinect, without Kinect for $399, bundled with games like
Madden NFL 15 or Sunset Overdrive, or by adding the standalone Kinect sensor at a later date. It’s a great time to choose which Xbox One option works best for you as we look toward the exciting new game launches coming in the months ahead. 

 

 

Here’s a trailer for Dance Central Spotlight:

 

Is releasing Kinect-less Xbox Ones and standalone Kinect 2s a good idea?

Personally I think releasing Kinect-less Xbox Ones was a misguided decision by Microsoft, especially only making upcoming Limited Edition Xbox Ones (Call Of Duty: Advance Warfare, Sunset Overdrive & Madden NFL 15 bundles for example) available without Kinect 2. I urge everyone thinking of buying Xbox One to only buy the version with Kinect 2. If you really want one of the Limited Edition bundles then you’ll have to buy Kinect 2 separately of course, but the only problem is that it’s very hard to recommend buying Kinect 2 separately at the moment as there are so few Kinect 2 games. Xbox One’s multimedia uses for Kinect 2 are great, but I’m sure many will question whether they’re worth the extra $149.99.

Some people might point to Kinect 1’s sales and say don’t be worried about Kinect 2’s success, but Kinect 1 launched with 17 games so instantly had a selection of games in which most people could find at least 1 or 2 they thought warranted purchasing Kinect for and knew that many more were on the way over the next few years. (Even though unfortunately there still weren’t enough core games and some eagerly awaited games got cancelled or at least turned into joypad-based games for Xbox One.) Kinect 2 on the other hand only has a few full Kinect games and only a few more have been announced so far and nearly all are from independent 3rd party developers. The same with goes for games with some Kinect 2 features. (Although there are many with very basic voice commands.) I think Microsoft should have at least made a Kinect Adventures 2 to bundle Kinect 2 with instead of or as well as Dance Central Spotlight. Or a Kinect Sports Rivals bundle.

However, as we reported earlier today, there could be announcements from Microsoft’s Kinect studios soon, announcements that are long overdue considering for example LXP and Platform Next Studios have been around since at least January 2012 and haven’t revealed any games yet! So maybe Micrsoft have just been waiting for the right time to reveal new Kinect 2 games, maybe they didn’t want to show them too early in too much of an unfinished state as they’re worried (and rightly so) that certain “journalists” would jump on the slightest glitches and uses them as excuses to ignorantly bash Kinect again. Also, maybe Microsoft are waiting until Xbox One is released worldwide to show most of their Kinect games? Remember that it’s only available in 13 countries so far and will have a second launch in 27 more countries from September 2nd.

I’ve got my fingers crossed for Kinect 2 as it’s an insanely powerful device that has so much potential for incredible games and it would be a crime against videogaming if Microsoft squandered it. Just look at not only the best games for Kinect 1, which still didn’t use it to its full potential, but also the incredible “Kinect Hacks” or Kinect control software that for some reason no game developers bothered to use. If Microsoft had allowed XBLIG to use Kinect we could have seen loads of indie Kinect games on Xbox 360, luckily they have allowed ID@Xbox games to use Kinect 2 so hopefully we’ll at least see loads of indie Kinect 2 games on Xbox One in the future. There are already a few ID@Xbox Kinect 2 games that have been announced that look very promising. And since Kinect 2 is 10 times more powerful than Kinect 1 who knows what amazing things we could see in upcoming games?!

What do you think of Microsoft’s decision to release Kinect-less Xbox Ones and now sell Kinect 2 separately? (Please note, you can still buy Xbox One with Kinect 2 and Microsoft haven’t said that they will ever discontinue that SKU, it’s just the Titanfall Limited Edition SKU that they have now discontinued.) Do you have a Kinect-less Xbox One or are thinking of buying one of the upcoming Limited Edition bundles? If so will you eventually buy Kinect 2? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Source: Xbox Wire, The Official Xbox YouTube Channel