Back on June 9, Microsoft removed Kinect as a necessary implement for the Xbox One, thereby dropping the price of the console to $399.
In a recent Eurogamer interview , Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida said his company expected Microsoft to eventually remove Kinect as a bundled necessity, but they didn't expect it to happen so soon:
"Some media people totally believed they should have done it earlier, but some other media people thought it was a unique selling point. Personally, I was expecting that at some point in the future they'd unbundle Kinect, but I wasn't expecting it this early. My interpretation was the management change had really helped them to reset and re-sync everything. And since then they've been consistent."
Now that the competition has the same price tag, analysts are expecting Microsoft's next-gen console to catch up to Sony's PlayStation 4 (at least in North America). However, Yoshida doesn't mind the competition and in fact, he says that because competition begets quality, it's the consumer that ultimately benefits:
"Competition really pushes everyone–Microsoft and us–to do better. I think in the end the consumers will win."
Many believe Microsoft absolutely had to ditch Kinect in order to make the Xbox One more competitive. Now that it has happened, we'll have to see how the system fares. Either way, though, Yoshida is certainly correct: Competition is good for everyone.