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Why Microsoft unbundling Kinect is a broken promise to all Xbox One owners

Xbox One Kinect

As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft has decided to do an about-face, now offering the Xbox One without Kinect for $399. The move continues Microsoft's seemingly cowardly backtracking trend that it's been doing with the Xbox One for about a year now. While many see this simply as a price drop and a way to get the Xbox One without an accessory that they may now want, for all intents and purposes, this kills Kinect dead. Right where it stands.

Allow me to explain. When the original Kinect launched for the Xbox 360, there was a lot of hype and excitement surrounding its release. For the first time, you could use your body as the controller for a new type of gaming experience. It was cool, and about as novel as the original Wii. It was a toy and a gimmick, and soon many folks stopped playing Kinect games, and none really took off at retail. However, Microsoft was getting good data and feedback for what we realized the "real" Kinect would be. The one that launched with the next Microsoft console.


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Microsoft slashes price of Xbox One to $399 without Kinect

Xbox One without Kinect $399

Microsoft surprised the gaming world this morning with the announcement it will sell the Xbox One without Kinect for $399 starting on June 9th in the U.S. This brings the price of the Xbox 360 in line with that of the PlayStation 4, which should bring the two consoles into even more heated competition.

An odd move (though some might say it was expected in order to compete,) since the company wouldn't stop talking about how essential Kinect is to the Xbox One functionality and gaming direction less than a year ago. I guess Microsoft has been feeling the heat if the PlayStation 4 sales, and had to adjust that strategy right quick.

You can pre-order the Xbox One without Kinect now.


Microsoft files its own smart watch patent

Microsoft smartwatch patent

With the smartphone being a huge success, companies like Samsung and Sony got the idea to make it smaller and wrist mounted, creating the Galaxy Gear and Sony Smartwatch lines respectively. Now Microsoft has decided to muscle into the game, registering its patents with the U.S. Government this week.

The application filed with the patent office describes the wearable as a music player, phone, message device, and fitness measuring device. The watchface would be detachable from the wristband so that it can be connected to a charging port.

The features described are still speculation, and no date has been stated for release. Microsoft is up against competition from Samsung, who released their product last year, Motorola, which plans to release the Moto 360 in July, and Pebble, which has already sold over 400,000 units.


WWE Network now available on Xbox One

WWE Network on Xbox One

The WWE Network app is now available for download on the Xbox One console, completing its availability on all announced video game platforms. Prior to today, the WWE Network was available on the Playstation 3, Playstation 4, and Xbox 360, with the Xbox One launch scheduled to come later "this summer." Obviously, the app was completed here in early spring, and made its way to the Xbox Live Marketplace without so much as an announcement from WWE or Microsoft.

We played with the app for a few minutes, and found it to be much easier to navigate than the other game console offerings. In fact, we'd place the Xbox One version just behind that of the Apple TV when it comes to connected devices. Having already used the WWE Network on the Xbox 360, after downloading it to the Xbox One, I was able to navigate around and watch content without having to log in again, thanks to my credentials syncing over Microsoft's cloud.

Streaming quality looks great, with no initial lag or stutter. You can download the WWE Network app now.


Grab Titanfall today for Xbox One, PC, or Xbox 360 for $37

Titanfall $37

If you've been waiting for Titanfall to drop in price before getting in on the action, well, it's time to stand by for Titanfall. Amazon is featuring the game as a Gold Box special today, selling it for just $37 (a 38% discount!) That price applies to all platforms, including PC, Xbox One, and even the newly-released Xbox 360 version.

Head over to Amazon to take advantage of this deal now!

Read More | Titanfall Gold Box Deal

Unboxing Live 137: Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows RT tablet

In this episode of Unboxing Live we open up the Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows tablet.The Lumia 2520 runs the latest version of Windows RT 8.1 right out of the box, and has a large, 10.1-inch 1080p display.

You can pick up the Nokia Lumia 2520 here:

Here are the Nokia Lumia 2520 specs:

  • 6.7-megapixel rear camera
  • 10.1-inch 1080p display
  • Quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
  • 32 GB storage
  • USB 3.0
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • NFC
  • Battery capacity: 8120 mAh
  • 2GB RAM

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Microsoft Office for iPad now available, requires Office 365 for editing

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Handhelds, Microsoft, Software

Microsoft Office for iPad

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced the availability of Office for iPad, making it his very first public announcement since taking the helm of the tech company. Microsoft Office for iPad was not only announced today, but it's available for download today from the Apple App Store as well.

Office for iPad is comprised of three free apps: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You can use each app to view and present their respective Office documents, but if you also want to be able to create and edit documents, an Office 365 subscription is required. Through the power of OneDrive, changes made to documents in one place (like the iPad app) will sync over to your other environments (like your Windows laptop.) Here are the download links:

We'll have a full Office for iPad review shortly to let you know our thoughts!


Unboxing Live 136: Nokia Lumia 1520 Windows Phone

We open up the Nokia Lumia 1520 Windows Phone in this episode. The Lumia 1520 sports a large 6-inch ClearBlack display and is an AT&T exclusive. Here are the specs:

  • 2.2 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor
  • 6-inch ClearBlack LCD display (1920 x 1080)
  • 20-megapixel PureView rear camera
  • Dual LED flash
  • Wireless charging

You can pick up the Nokia Lumia 1520 for $99 on AT&T now.

Don't forget to subscribe to Gear Live's YouTube channel, and don't forget--we are giving away awesome perks for our Patreon backers - thanks for your support!

 

Microsoft Surface 2 with AT&T 4G LTE available tomorrow

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Handhelds, Microsoft, PC / Laptop

Surface 2 with LTE

Microsoft has announced that it'll finally release the Surface 2 with LTE built in with 64GB storage capacity. Interested buyers will be able to pick up the updated model starting tomorrow from Microsoft Stores, Best Buy, and AT&T Wireless locations.

With the exception of the added LTE support, don't expect other changes in the Surface 2 hardware. You'll find a new SIM card slot located by the volume rocker, but that's it. Users will be able to use the LTE function as a mobile hotspot for their other devices as well. A year of free Skype calls to landline numbers and 200GB of OneDrive cloud storage is also thrown in.

You can order the Surface 2 with LTE here.

Read More | Surface 2 with 4G LTE

How to Upgrade Your Xbox One controller [Video]

Did you know that you can upgrade your Xbox One controller? In this episode, I walk you through the process of upgrading the firmware on your Xbox One controller, allowing you to take advantage of the tweaks Microsoft releases. You should check for a controller update whenever Microsoft releases a new Xbox One dashboard update. It takes a minute or two for each controller, and you must do each controller that you own individually. Check out the video for the full breakdown.

You can pick up an Xbox One now, along with additional controllers.

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