Shoppers who purchased an Xbox One sometime this year without a Kinect 2 sensor can finally buy the device separately direct from Microsoft or a handful of other retail stores today.
The online stores of GameStop and Amazon began stocking the Kinect 2 sensor for the Xbox One earlier today. Shipping from both retailers seems speedy, with Amazon reporting that buyers can get the Xbox One Kinect Sensor bundle with next day delivery now. Microsoft’s own online store is offering users two-day delivery. Across the board, Xbox One Kinect Sensor bundle costs $149.99. That’s a big accessory purchase, but Microsoft is helping users justify the added expense with a free game.
The Xbox One Kinect Sensor Bundle includes a free copy of Dance Central Spotlight, a recently launched rhythm game that users the Kinect sensor to track players movement. Dance Central Spotlight normally costs users $9.99. That’s excluding the individual $1.99 song purchases that users would need to make if they want certain songs.
To be clear, the Kinect 2 sensor is compatible with more than just Dance Central Spotlight. Many other Xbox One games, like Madden NFL 25 for example, allows Xbox One owners to interact with their games. Players can break huddles and change plays in Madden NFL 25 with just their voice.
Beyond gaming, the Kinect 2 sensor is a key part of the Xbox One experience. The Xbox One itself features an HDMI pass-through port that allows owners to plug-in their cable box or DVR. Using that port is possible without the Kinect 2 sensor, but with the sensor the Xbox One is able to communicate with cable boxes directly.
With the two pieces of the puzzle together changing a television channel is as simple as saying “Xbox, watch ABC Family.” The “Xbox, On” command can turn on audio equipment, the Xbox One itself and a television set without users pressing a single button. The Xbox One also users the Kinect 2 sensor to enable high-definition video calls over Skype.
Microsoft is throwing in a free game with every Kinect 2 Sensor purchase, but it’s not exactly putting users in a great situation. When they debuted last year, the Kinect 2 sensor and the Xbox One were two halves of the same whole. Microsoft’s original centered on every Xbox One coming with a Kinect 2 sensor. Unfortunately, pressure from Sony’s PS4 gaming console meant Microsoft had to introduce a cheaper priced Xbox One that didn’t’ include the Kinect 2 sensor at all. This new cheaper Xbox One cost $399. The original Xbox One with Kinect 2 sensor bundle still costs $499.
Users who purchase this new Kinect 2 bundle will spend $50 more than what they would have spent had they just purchased the $499 Xbox One to begin with. That’s not unheard of – the original Kinect 2 sensor cost users $150 too. That being said, Xbox One owners who were already not thrilled about paying an extra $100 for the Kinect + Xbox One bundle definitely aren’t going to be happy being penalized an extra $50 for waiting to buy the sensor separately.
Holiday shoppers who purchased an Xbox One for their family earlier this year seems to be the target here. That makes sense as the Kinect 2 sensor is primarily geared towards enabling the entire family to play games with the need for a controller. Besides Dance Central Spotlight other Kinect enabled games include Kinect Sports Rivals and The Fighter Within. More complicated games use the Kinect 2 sensor, but just for ancillary activities like giving commands.
Microsoft’s own retail stores are also carrying the Kinect 2 sensor with the same digital copy of Dance Central Spotlight. Unlike other online stores, most purchases from the Microsoft Store website include free shipping. Amazon offers free shipping for orders over $35.