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No headset in the box for Xbox One

No headset in the box for Xbox One

Wed 26 Jun 2013 8:55am GMT / 4:55am EDT / 1:55am PDT
Hardware

Microsoft pushing Kinect for voice comms in official statement

Microsoft has risked incurring the wroth of its potential Xbox One audience once more, by revealing that the 429/$499/€499 machine won't come with a headset, although one is available separately. Prices for the separate unit have yet to be made public.

In attempting to mollify consumers who feel that this is a step backwards from the company packaging a headset with all but the lowest priced 360 SKU, Microsoft has tried to play up the function of the microphone-enabled Kinect camera instead.

Having come under fire from the public and the press once more after revealing that customers wanting a headset would need to by one separately, Microsoft issued a statement to Ars Technica explaining the move.

"Xbox One does not include a pack-in headset accessory. Each Xbox One includes the new Kinect sensor, with a 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. For gamers who prefer a headset, we have a variety of offerings that you can find on the Xbox Wire."

A new headset adaptor port for the Xbox One controller means that headsets designed for the 360 interface will no be compatible.

For the Xbox One, Microsoft has chosen to make the Kinect camera a compulsory piece of equipment, despite widespread apathy from gamers about the implementation of the first-generation device released for the 360. The inclusion of the device is thought to be a major contributor to the system's relatively high price-point, which exceeds that of the PS4 - priced at $399/€399 and 329 respectively.

11 Comments

Kenneth Young
Head of Audio

19 11 0.6
Multi-array microphones? Awesome squared! That array of arrays is going to be infinietly more useful than your bog standard multi-microphone array.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,011 1,407 1.4
@ Kenneth I lol'd.

On topic, worth noting that the PS4 is accompanied by a headset despite its $100 cheaper price point, and according to Turtle Beach should function with your old bluetooth and wired headsets (hopefully including the awesome Sony sold official surorund sound PS3 headset).

Posted:A year ago

#2
Way to alienate hardcore gamers even more, Microsoft! This move is just stupid. Lack of headset is what killed the PS3 online for me, personally. Well, that and Gears of War...

Posted:A year ago

#3

Anthony Chan
Analyst

85 70 0.8
... confused... Xbox One still has not evolved to using Bluetooth Headsets for comms??? PS3 never needed the in box headset because of BT capablities from the get go. You can just take the one you have for your mobile and hook it up :) I was using a Jabra Jawbone for a while and that was perfect.

Posted:A year ago

#4

David Mann
Artist

8 11 1.4
Yup-- pretty stupid move. Comms over the TV speakers is horrible, given all the other sfx/music going on as well. Only fix for that would be upping comms volume, and then the significant others will be further annoyed not only by all the noise, but now the noise + random 11 year old bigots.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Jakub Mikyska
CEO

197 1,045 5.3
It seems more and more that the roles of Sony and Microsoft are completely reversed from the previous generation. Microsoft is entering as an arrogant winner, with higher price and initial bad publicity. Sony is feeding on their mistakes and offers a smaller, cheaper machine with headset included. Not that any of that actually matters in the long run. But it is an interesting situation nevertheless.

Posted:A year ago

#6

Pete Thompson
Owner / Admin

162 82 0.5
Honestly doesn't bother me at all, I've never been a fan of Microsoft's wired headset, their wireless headset is so much better, So i use either that or wireless Turtlebeach headset.. I really doubt this will phase any hardcore gamers who will still use their headset of choice..

Some of the comments on the internet about the price of the Xbox ONE being dearer than the PS4 have made me laugh, for years the PS3 has been dearer than the X360, but that's just been accepted, now there's a reversal and there's a lot of negativity.. I would have preferred MS to offer two versions of Xbox ONE console, one for gamers, and one for those who want an entertainments centre in their living room, I'm sure they would sell a hell of a lot more of the gaming centric consoles..

Posted:A year ago

#7

Bryan Robertson
Gameplay Programmer

86 210 2.4
I hope they have some solution for cancelling noise from the game.

I find I always have to mute people with Kinect microphones on Xbox 360, because they drown out everyone elses' voice comms with noise from their game.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

869 1,277 1.5
"Xbox One does not include a pack-in headset accessory. Each Xbox One includes the new Kinect sensor, with a 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
But thats not going to help those of us who turn our Kinect off while playing. It's just not an ideal solution for any kind of voice chat, especially during multiplayer sessions. Plus I'd feel naked without my wireless earpiece headset.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Ben Campbell
Graphic Designer / Freelance Games Journalist

17 20 1.2
Some of the comments on the internet about the price of the Xbox ONE being dearer than the PS4 have made me laugh, for years the PS3 has been dearer than the X360, but that's just been accepted, now there's a reversal and there's a lot of negativity.. I would have preferred MS to offer two versions of Xbox ONE console, one for gamers, and one for those who want an entertainments centre in their living room, I'm sure they would sell a hell of a lot more of the gaming centric consoles..
@Pete Thompson: The reason WHY the PS3 is more expensive than the 360 is that from a technical standpoint it has always been the superior machine. The reason why people are annoyed this time around (and fair play to them, I think quite justified in being) is that the XBone is a fair bit less powerful, (from what I understand of the specs) and yet are expected to pay a 25% premium for an inferior console that isn't aimed at gamers.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Curt Sampson
Sofware Developer

595 356 0.6
The reason WHY the PS3 is more expensive than the 360 is that from a technical standpoint it has always been the superior machine.
Even though I personally prefer the PS3, I don't see this. The PS3 does have some things that are clearly technically superior (Blu-ray; Bluetooth for headsets, keyboards, etc.; all models having an HDD; user-upgradeable HDDs; etc.) but in other areas, such as graphics quality and frame rate for most games, the Xbox 360 comes out ahead. The Xbox 360 also has better software when it comes to on-line capabilities (though Sony doesn't bombard you with adverts). All in all, they seem to come out more or less equal in terms of the number of advantages and disadvantages.

Posted:A year ago

#11

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