Microsoft has made plenty of changes to their Xbox One over the past few months including 24 hour check ins, and DRM policies, but it looks like they aren’t done yet.
It has been confirmed that it is now no longer necessary for the Kinect to be plugged in order to use the Xbox One. In an interview with IGN, Marc Whitten (General Manager of Xbox Live at Microsoft Games Studios) confirmed that Kinect was no longer needed when playing with the Xbox One.
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.
Marc Whitten also emphasized that the Kinect can indeed be turned completely off, but should you wish to, you can unplug it. Instead of the “hibernation” mode that allowed it to collect data and recognize voice commands to turn it on, you are now able to completely remove its functionality.
Albert Penello, a Senior Executive at Microsoft, expanded on Microsoft’s reason for removing the Kinect requirement.
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.
At this time, Microsoft has announced no plans to sell the Xbox One without the Kinect, but who knows what the future holds. If they were to sell an Xbox One package without the Kinect for $100 less, I would be all over it. Either way, the Xbox One is looking more like a good option each day.