Xbox One sales double after Microsoft drops Kinect
Microsoft's Xbox One games console has experienced a surge in sales after the company unbundled the Kinect motion sensor last month
Microsoft's Xbox One may be struggling to compete with Sony's PlayStation 4 on popularity, but US sales of Microsoft's Xbox One more than doubled last month, after the company started offering the games console without a Kinect.
The Kinect motion sensor enables users to control and interact with their console without the need for a game controller, using gestures and spoken commands.
Microsoft originally announced that use of Kinect sensor would be mandatory on Xbox One, and that the console would not operate unless it was plugged in.
However, following concerns from critics about the potential privacy concerns of this requirement, Microsoft decided to reverse its decision and continue making Kinect usage optional – as was the case on Xbox 360.
In May, Microsoft announced that it would launch a $399 (£349) version of the Xbox One console without a Kinect controller. The Xbox One normally costs $499 in the US and £429 in the UK.
At the time, head of Xbox Phil Spencer said that Kinect remained an important part of Microsoft's vision, but that the company was responding to demand from gamers for more options in their hardware selection.
Microsoft now reports that the move prompted "a strong spike in interest" in the Xbox One, resulting in sales more than doubling between May and June.
"We’re excited to welcome so many fans to Xbox this summer and we can’t wait for them to get their hands on the wide selection of new games available this year on Xbox One," the company said in a blog post.
"Gamers love the holidays and we are lining up incredible deals and special promotions to celebrate."
The news comes ahead of market research company NPD Group's June report on the games industry. According to the last report, the Playstation 4, which costs £350, has beaten the Xbox One in console sales for five straight months.