Xbox One No Longer Requires Kinect

In the most recent announcement from Microsoft, news has been revealed that Microsoft have gone back on their decision to force players to have Kinect plugged in at all times.

Microsoft’s Marc Whitten shared with IGN the information that Kinect will indeed not be necessary for Xbox One to turn on anymore. 

“That said, like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor,” he said.

When asked just how close to being “off” Kinect can be when it is still plugged into the machine, Whitten answered,

“You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings. When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information. Any functionality that relies on voice, video, gesture or more won’t work. We still support using it for IR blasting in this mode. You can turn the sensor back on at any time through settings, and if you enter into a required Kinect experience (like Kinect Sports Rivals for instance), you’ll get a message asking if you want to turn the sensor back on in order to continue.”

Microsoft’s senior executive Albert Penello then took to NeoGAF to address the news topic and let everyone know how Microsoft still believes in Kinect. 

“We still believe in Kinect. We aren’t interested in splitting the development base. The more demos I’ve seen, the more I’ve used it – the more impressed I am. The team feels strongly about Kinect, and I hope we’re able to prove that when you use it.

We also have a ton of privacy settings to allow people to turn off the camera, or microphones, or put it in a state just for “Xbox On” and IR blasting – there will be a lot of user control for that.

The thing we all understood, and hence this change, is that there are some scenarios where people just may not be comfortable. We wanted people to be 100% comfortable, so we allow the sensor to be unplugged. And clearly the “it dropped” scenario is possible.

The most obvious thing is watching a DVD/BD, or streaming a movie, or HDMI pass-through, your experience isn’t impacted (except you miss voice and IR blasting)

There is no “gotcha”, but obviously, if there is a game that REQUIRES Kinect (like Rivals), or something where Kinect IS the experience (like Skype), those won’t work.

That said, for people who have privacy concerns there are user control settings, which we believe are great.”

So after another reversal from Microsoft is the Xbox One looking more appealing to you? One of the other recent reversals from Microsoft is the inclusion of a headset as seen in Major Nelson’s unboxing video. Also even with the reversal, Microsoft don’t seem to have decided to sell the Xbox One without a Kinect sensor yet either, what do you think of that decision? Let us know what you think in the comments.