Kinect no Longer Required for Xbox One to Function
Microsoft flipped the script on another of the Xbox One's policies early this week, announcing Kinect was no longer mandatory for the new console to function. However, it's still a necessary part of Microsoft's strategy, so don't get your hopes up for a Kinect-less console.
Speaking with IGN, Marc Whitten, chief Xbox One platform architect, revealed the subtle change it how the console and camera peripheral will work. Originally, the Kinect was required to be plugged in and turned on for the Xbox One to even boot up. Now however, Microsoft has softened its stance a bit.
"[The Xbox One] 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," Whitten said. When pressed further about whether or not the Kinect could even be turned off, Whitten had more good news.
"You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings. When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information," Whitten said. "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."
While there will likely be a few voices out there crying for a version of the Xbox One without a Kinect to drop the price a bit, Microsoft is still committed to the peripheral, and even in the wake of the drastic policy changes these past few months, we aren't going to be holding our breaths for a stand-alone bundle anytime soon.