An App developer for Xbox One in an anonymous AMA on Reddit, which took place last Saturday, fielded questions on the console's hardware, digital sharing, marketing, and Kinect. That last subject revealed an important comparison that supports the ever growing feeling that we are subsidizing the Kinect with a purchase of the console:
The majority of the masses care only about the console. Except that the success of the Kinect carries much more weight to us. The sensor costs almost as much as the console to make.
That's a hefty price to pay. To be extremely conservative on what "almost as much" means, the Kinect then costs at least $200 and the console itself costs $300 out of the $499 asking price. The purpose, despite the added cost, is to make the Kinect standard-issue:
The goal with having a Kinect ship with every Xbox is to guarantee to game developers if they implement Kinect features into their games, everyone who has an Xbox will be able to experience it. I often see people dismiss the Kinect instantly because they haven't seen it work like I have. It is an integral part of the Xbox One experience.
But best of all his responses is an anecdote of the ground perception the Xbox One had at E3:
It was quite moot. One of our execs had mentioned a Sony dev came up to him at E3 and told him 'you won the games, we won the gamers.'