At $499.99, nobody – including Microsoft – wants to risk increasing the price of the Xbox One any further. The decision to include Kinect as the go-to piece of kit for audio transmission means that Microsoft have neglected to include headsets with the Xbox One, meaning that unless you buy one separately, you’ll need Kinect in order to communicate over Live.
“Xbox One does not include a pack-in headset accessory,” Microsoft said in a statement to Ars Technica. “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 those pesky consumers who really want a headset, they added that ”For gamers who prefer a headset, we have a variety of offerings that you can find on the Xbox Wire.”
The PS4 however has a headset included with every console.
You can read our irreverent E3 rundown for our views on Microsoft, Sony, and the Kinect, which we explain had been enforced with every unit because otherwise “no one would fucking bother,” quashing development for the device, and wasting millions of investment cash. The consumer, at the end of the day, pays the price.