Microsoft announced today that it will sell a standalone version of Kinect for Xbox One starting in October. This release is of course aimed at customers who purchase a Kinect-less Xbox One console and then wish to upgrade later.
I guess I had kind of assumed they were already selling this accessory and just moved on. But in looking at what Microsoft said when they announced the cheaper, Kinect-less Xbox One version, I see now that they only promised to begin selling the sensor separately in the future.
On that note, the future starts October 7. That's when the new standalone Kinect goes on sale. It will cost $150, so you can save $50, ahem, by just buying the "full" version of Xbox One with Kinect upfront. That said, the standalone Kinect sensor also comes with Dance Central Spotlight, so you've got that going for you if you get the device separately.
Microsoft's positioning on this is interesting, too, by the way: as you might expect, it has seen Xbox One sales double since it announced the lower-cost, Kinect-less version of the console. But it also claims that it has seen increased demand for the more expensive Xbox One with Kinect.
Certainly, Xbox One is better with Kinect. You can turn the console on and perform many actions with just your voice, arguably the most natural and simplest way to interact with the content on your HDTV. But I've never really bought into Kinect for games, with either the Xbox 360 or Xbox One. Obviously, there's some market for that. But it's interesting how Kinect has evolved from being basically games-only in Xbox 360 to being a lot more than that with Xbox One.