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Xbox One headset not free due to Kinect

Microsoft raised a few eyebrows this week, when they revealed official pictures of the Xbox One headset whilst also confirming that it won’t be bundled with the console for free. This disappointed many since the company offered a free headset with the Xbox 360, but now Microsoft has issued a statement on the matter, suggesting that Kinect is the main reason why a headset isn’t packaged with the console.

We already know that Kinect is largely responsible for the $100 price difference between the $499 Xbox One and the $399 Sony PS4. However, it looks like the voice and motion camera is also to blame for the lack of a free headset for the Xbox One as well. Unlike the PS4 which doesn’t require a camera to operate and also comes with a free in-ear headset, the new version of Kinect for the Xbox One now looks to double up as a makeshift headset option as well.

When speaking to ArsTechnica, Microsoft has said that Kinect features “highly sensitive multi-array microphones designed to enable voice inputs and chat as a system-level capability, both in-game and with Skype and other experiences.”

This essentially means that Kinect can be used as a headset, albeit with all of the background voices and other interference as well behind it. This obviously isn’t ideal for those that require an audio chat solution directly through a wearable headset, but it could provide a temporary solution until you decide to pick up the official headset as a separate purchase later on – Microsoft hasn’t announced a price yet.

Microsoft are recommending using Kinect as a headset when you pick up your Xbox One at launch, but how many of you really want to hear Call of Duty in the background as you’re trying to talk to people? Some believe that it isn’t a big deal that a headset isn’t included, but the fact that the Xbox 360 came with one is still a hard pill to swallow for others.

What is your opinion on the Xbox One headset debate? Will you try using Kinect as a makeshift headset first and see how that goes before picking up a proper headset?

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Written by Alan Ng

Alan has been working for Product-Reviews since 2009 and became the Editor-in-chief in 2014. He has a passion for technology, the latest mobile phones and gadgets, and the gaming industry. Alan is a graduate of Canterbury Christ Church University and completed a B.A in Commercial Music in 2008. While expressing a keen interest in all areas that PR cover, you'll usually find Alan in the gaming section, where he'll be keeping enthusiasts up to date on all the latest news and reviews for consoles and PC.

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