Microsoft’s marketing for their new console has been, at best, an utter mess, filled with poor communication with their audience and numerous mistakes that have hurt the company’s reputation. As such we’ve seen a lot of 180-degree changes in Microsoft policies in order try and appease consumers, yet one of the few things that they seemed adamant about was Kinect, and how it would absolutely have to be plugged into the Xbox One, otherwise the console simply wouldn’t work.
However, it now seems like Microsoft may have completely reversed this stance, revealing that the Xbox One can function without the sensor connected.
During IGN’s recent Ask Microsoft Anything event, Marc Whitten, Chief Architect of the Xbox One, was asked what would happen if the Kinect sensor was broken. Would the console simply cease to work? After happily spouting the many merits of the Kinect 2.0 sensor, Marc Whitten revealed this interesting snippet of information: “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.”
Now, isn’t that rather interesting?
Marc Whitten was also asked how “off” Kinect can be when it’s actually plugged into the console, to which he replied: “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.”
Of course this won’t stop people from worrying about the sensor anyway, and for good reason, but the ability to completely unplug the sensor means that if you’re really concerned you can just put the damn thing in a box in a cupboard somewhere, and is a major step toward regaining some much needed consumer support.