Big Changes coming to the Xbox One

The Xbox One is Microsoft’s successor to the wildly popular Xbox 360. While Microsoft seemed poised to take a dominant lead in the new console race, some poor decisions and a hefty price tag has slowed initial sales of its new system.

However, some major changes are coming to the newest Xbox console, and the question is: will this make people go out and spend their hard-earned money now?  First off, starting June 9, you will be able to get the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor.  If you do choose this model, it will also save $100 bringing the price down to $399.99, or the same amount as Sony’s PS4.

Sign Up for E-News

I have had the Xbox One since the system launched, and I have to say that the Kinect has been the biggest disappointment. I have yet to see a game that really has shown that the Kinect was worth the extra $100. Most times it’s me yelling at my TV while my Kinect ignores me completely.  On the rare occasions that the Kinect does listen to me, it usually ends up starting Netflix, when I was really trying to play “Titanfall.” The system has a hard time understanding anyone’s in my family voice, and it seldom follows commands correctly.

Microsoft also announced big changes to Xbox Live.  Soon, you will no longer need a Gold membership to access premium features such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. You will still have to pay for the subscription to the service, but Microsoft will no longer force you to pay extra on top of it to watch Season Four of “Dr. Who.” For those of you who only bought a Gold account to access Netflix or Hulu, you can get a refund. When the change takes place on June 9, you will have to contact Microsoft and ask for the refund. You will be given a pro-rated amount back, based on how much time you have left.  Two notes for this: 1. You only have until August 31 to ask for the refund, and 2. it will take six to eight weeks to process your request.

     Microsoft has also completely revamped games with its Gold program. Right now, you have access to two games per month on the Xbox 360. They tend to be very old games that no one wants to play. Starting in June, you will be able to download three games for the 360 and two games for the Xbox One. The only downside is that the games that you download will now no longer be available if you let your Gold subscription lapse.

Most of the people who owned an Xbox 360 know you must have a Gold membership to play online any way so letting a subscription lapse is not something you want to do in any situation. Additionally, if you are a Gold member, you will also get huge discounts on games on the Xbox Marketplace.

Is this enough change that you should run out and buy an Xbox One come June 9? No, it is not on its own. The real reason to pick up any video game system is the games it offers.  While right now there are very few exclusive games for the One, there will be more games coming. Also the games that are on both the 360 and the One will play better on the One. So will all these changes make you pick up a One? Microsoft hopes so, but let us know on the LP TAP Facebook pagehow you feel.