Microsoft 'looking into' bundling headsets with Xbox One

Microsoft senior director of product planning Albert Penello has indicated that the company could yet reverse its decision not to bundle a headset with each Xbox One console. Earlier this week the firm began pricing Xbox One peripherals, including the console’s official monaural headset, which will cost $25 and plug directly into an Xbox One controller much like its 360 predecessor.

Microsoft has previously stressed the ability of Kinect, which will come as standard with every Xbox One, to isolate voices from background noise, positioning it as an all-in-one solution for video and audio chatting. However, this hasn’t gone down well with some consumers, and Microsoft has taken note, according to Penell:

Penello also expressed enthusiasm for a fan-suggested Spectator Mode on Xbox One:

Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox One will launch in 21 markets this November priced at $500 / £430. Xbox One games will cost $59.99 / £49.99.


  • CH3BURASHKA - July 31, 2013 6:28 a.m.

    They've reneged on everything so far; might as well include a headset to ensure people actually talk to one another.
  • seanpwns - July 31, 2013 5:54 a.m.

    This NEEDS to happen. The original Xbox and Xbox Live bundles came with headsets. People talked ALL THE TIME. The 360 does not come with a headset and guess what? Silence in MP
  • GoldenEagle1476 - July 30, 2013 8:25 p.m.

    I think I'll wait until I can get a Turtle Beach headset for it.
  • GOD - July 30, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    Who else loves it when individual replies in a comment section are several times longer than the actual article? (no offense to the commenters, just a fun observation)
  • rcarrasco121 - July 30, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    At this rate they'll announce they're also changing the name of the Xbox One to PS4.
  • Sy87 - July 30, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    Now they would have my vote if they provide covers for the Kinect.
  • FoxdenRacing - July 30, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    I'm always going to be critical that they lost the plot as badly as they did, but kudos to them for adjusting for feedback [even if they've been a bit sour grapes about it at times].
  • BladedFalcon - July 30, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    I'm just amused by the fact that all the "adjustments" they have done ever since the initial reveal, is to essentially do almost exactly what the PS4 has announced it would do since the beginning XD
  • FoxdenRacing - July 30, 2013 1:09 p.m.

    I really liked Yahtzee's take. Sony got wild cheers at E3 not because they blew minds or redefined gaming, but because they got up on stage and didn't cut their own face off...shoring up their weaknesses, instead of sticking their neck out. Sad thing is? While I don't agree with MS's vision of the future, at the core some of the intentions weren't bad...but the implementations were beyond horrid.
  • BladedFalcon - July 30, 2013 1:43 p.m.

    I see your Yahtzee, and i raise you a Jim Sterling: I agree that Sony isn't being acclaimed because they are being bold, but because they are NOT being bold and sticking to what it works. And y'know what? Sometimes that's the way it should go, methinks. My problem with trying to push for the "future" is that it's often doing stuff that isn't really in favor at all of gaming, and feels like it's being done more for the sake of just innovating when it doesn't feel like it's outright a money-grabbing scheme, which is what honestly what most of MS's initial stances felt like, really. Also, I think gaming history has shown you that it's often the smaller, more subtle changes that tend to work the best when moving forward, while the louder ideas end up being little more than gimmicks. Analog sticks didn't really make a lot of noise when Sony brought them out for the PS1, but once the PS2 came out? they became a must. Same with rumble packs. Or how about HD? the very first years of this current console gen very people really saw HD graphics as that much of a big deal until a couple years into the generation. Not to mention, trophies? who cared about them, right? Conversely, think about shot everyone WAS talking about, like motion controls, Kinect, sixaxis, the 3D in the PS3 and the 3D screen on the 3DS, of the touchpad of the Wii U. All of these were all touted as huge industry-changing innovations... And how much have any of them really improved gaming, really? Same as when Nintendo tried to push the 64 HDD, or Sony it's Internet router, both were a mess, and went nowhere. Why? because all of those technologies, while they DO have potential, weren't really ready, or working at a efficient enough way, or people and developers simply weren't ready to commit to them. And that's what Microsoft's online focused distribution and cloud reliance felt to me.
  • FoxdenRacing - July 30, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    Ohgod, Jim did a piece too? This I gotta see. Innovation is tricky, I'll admit that. You have to prove that you're going to make things better, more convenient, or as Jim so succinctly put it (maybe not in that video, you've created a monster): "What's in it for me?" And sometimes, as you've pointed out, people don't see the benefits right away. Dual analog sticks didn't pick up until it had its killer app: Ape Escape. Once they were standard, once devs and gamers alike saw what was possible, they embraced it. Other times, the benefits are obvious; going to disc-based media, while introducing the ARGH of load times to consoles, allowed for games that were absolutely immense compared to their cartridge-based competition. The things that really took off...analog sticks, rumble, etc...didn't just add something to the experience...they improved it. Analog sticks gave precision to an originally very clumsy input experience. Rumble, and really all forms of haptic feedback, allowed the game to communicate more information, not unlike the importance of sound effects. Motion control is a different take. No matter how much the suits wanted to replace how we currently play, it failed miserably in that respect...and did what it could have done, and been applauded for, all along: it carved out its niche as a different way to play. And more importantly, a different way to play that added something to the experience, rather than being different for different's sake. And that's what MS didn't seem to get. And really still doesn't seem to get. Innovation for the sake of innovation is going to fall flat. But if you make things better, with the intention of making things better, customers will take notice. If you try to shamelessly cash in, or insist your customers are too stupid to know what they actually're gonna have a bad time. You can't tack 'second screen' or 'motion control' or 'voice control' onto games that see no additional benefit, or even worse are made more cumbersome through the addition, and expect it to succeed. As long as it's faster to move my thumb a fraction of an inch and push a button than it is to rattle off a long-winded verbal command while my wife is trying to hear her conversation on the phone, as long as it's more precise and less exhausting to do an intricate dance with both thumbs and 2 to fingers than it is to flail around like an idiot and wait for the machine to decide whether you're intending to interact with something or just passing through, as long as people need to be considerate of other people in the house not wanting to hear the streams of verbal abuse from, and even to, the people you're playing online with, Kinect is dead in the water. They try to present this image that gamers have enormous rooms dedicated to gaming, that they have no neighbors, relatives, or roommates in earshot, that they're the epitome of sterile, corporate political correctness...when anyone that's spent more than 2 minutes playing a competitive multiplayer game on Xbox Live is all too familiar with the amount of faith-in-humanity crushing filth and bile chewing up terabytes of bandwidth every second. They send the message that they have no idea what their system is like, or what experiences are had on there by real customers every single day, that their naive assumptions of a perfect little world are how it really is. And we see right through it. We see that they're full of it, and then they get sour grapes when we call them on it, when we tell them that their little fantasy reality is just idyllic fantasy that in no way, shape, or form resembles their own customers using their own products. Hopefully they learn from their mistakes, because competition is always a good thing. Look at how alive the industry came when it was more than Nintendo being the only game in towny, when they had to actually compete.
  • BladedFalcon - July 30, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    Definitely agree on most points... Dunno if you noticed, but I was kinda pretty much saying more or less the same... but poorly explained XD And yeah, that's why I haven't bought for a second that the Kinect 2.0 will truly bring any real improvements to gaming. And the funny thing it's that Microsoft itself has proven this for me, with their own actions, or lack thereof. Not only did we not really see any games that used the Kinect 2.0 in E3... we actually saw games that blatantly looked like they were designed for kinect use... and instead discarded it. (Ryse and Crimson Dragon.) So how are we supposed to believe that the device wil be any good, is even MS itself doesn't show any confidence in it? That being said... about your "seeing right trough it" Comment? *Points at the millions that bought a wii... and a Kinect.) Most people fell right into the trap of motion gaming :P But yes, at any rate, competition definitely is great. Even if I make fun of MS for turning the Xbone more and more into PS4 with every passing day, this is still miles ahead of what could have otherwise been with him unchecked. And heck, had Sony and MS not done Nintendo the favor of burning out the motion control fad even quicker, Nintendo might have still tried to push motion control into the Wii U...
  • FoxdenRacing - July 31, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    Bad comms on my part, but otherwise agreed wholeheartedly. "Seeing right through it" was about the image of gaming they're trying to present, about gamers having enormous rooms dedicated to gaming, about multicultural families of all ages coming together for gaming like it's a sunday dinner in the 50s, about Xbox Live being the world's shining beacon of wholesome conversation and sportsmanship, etc. And instead, what they're doing is showing the people "in the trenches", their potential customers, that nobody at the top of the food chain even owns an Xbox. When you have people that are eyebrow-deep in the company kool-aid, but have no personal investment in the product itself [compare the first xbox...designed by a skunkworks team of gamers that thought DX and a console were a good the One, a console designed by a committee of executives worried about leveraging their synergies and maximizing revenues from strategic partners], you get crap like Zune, Surface, Xbox One, and Windows 8...products in search of a market, made by a company that tries to tell its customers that they're morons that have no idea what they actually want.

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