Despite Microsoft's latest One-eighty, in which they are now selling a Kinect-less Xbox One, Microsoft's chief marketing and strategy officer Yusuf Mehdi believes it was ultimately the "right call" to bundle the peripheral with the console at launch.
"No, I think it was the right call to bundle with Kinect," Mehdi told Forbes when asked if he thought it was a mistake to bundle the Xbox One with the Kinect at a higher price.
"In the beginning of a new console generation, you’re trying to set the bar for a new experience, and I think we did that with Xbox One. The proof is really in the usage," he said. "80% of people are using Kinect which is remarkable compared to the last generation."
"We’re doing 120 voice commands on average a month with over a billion commands issued. People who wanted the experience came and bought it. We were sold out all through the holidays," he continued. "I think it was the right call, and now is a good time to offer more choice for people who haven’t been able to get that experience."
Though bundling the Kinect with each Xbox One may have offered a different experience, it's hard to justify if that experience was worth an extra $100. Now that Microsoft has removed the Kinect, the Xbox One is priced at a much more attractive $399 — a price competitive with the PS4, which also sells for $399.
"I do think we’re going to get people now who move over, and then buy the Kinect later," Mehdi said. "So I do think the [price point] broadens the appeal and hopefully brings more people to Xbox One sooner."