The lights are on
We knew that the Xbox One's Kinect could be turned off in the settings, but today we've learned even more. The Kinect 2.0 need not even be connected to the Xbox One.
The news was revealed in an ongoing question and answer session IGN has been conducting with Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten. "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," Whitten wrote.
Should you wish to leave the device connected, the Xbox One will prompt users to turn it on should they attempt to use anything that requires the Kinect. When off, the cameras and microphones are not receiving external data. This news is the latest in a long line of policy reversals, including a system-wide shift in digital rights management, indie self-publishing, and including a headset in the box.
Our TakeThe door is now open for a post-launch, Kinect-free Xbox One. Microsoft is putting the device's value in the hands of developers now. Given all the gameplay data that developers and publishers can collect, you can bet that there will be statistics generated based on optional Kinect usage.
We might never see them, but if Microsoft decides to drop it from the box along the way, we'll be able to read between the lines. For the security conscious among you, does this change your mind about the Xbox One?