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The Kinect Is No Longer Mandatory For Xbox One Use

The reversals just keep coming. After an overwhelmingly negative reception, Microsoft has kept busy over the last few months reversing nearly every bad decision they made with the Xbox One, essentially rebuilding the platform and its misguided policies from the ground up. The result has been a storm of policy changes, including less restrictive DRM, self-publishing for indie developers,shipping a headset with each console and dropping those god awful Microsoft Points.

Now, the Xbox One is more closely resembling the follow-up to the Xbox 360 I wanted to see back in May. More on their latest policy change after the jump.

In a Q&A session with IGN, Microsoft’s Marc Whitten confirmed the Kinect is not required to use the Xbox One, saying “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.” Previously, the device needed to be connected to the console in order for it to function.

The idea of an always-listening camera that may or may not be connected to the Internet, lurking and waiting for you to talk to it didn’t sit well with a lot of people.

Microsoft did say the peripheral could be turned off in the settings prior to this latest change, but now that we can just turn the thing off I suspect many gamers will take that route. If you would rather keep the Kinect connected but switched off, the console will let you know when you’re trying to use a feature that requires the peripheral so you can reactivate it.

This is more good news, because it means we may see a cheaper, Kinect-free Xbox One bundle after the console launches this November. For me, the $499 price tag is the only serious barrier of entry left. How about you?

Have a question? Feel free to ever-so-gently toss Adam an email, or follow him on Twitter and Bloody Disgusting.



  • weresmurf

    Ok MS, we’re good now. We’re good. πŸ™‚ You’ve done well. Apology accepted. I’ll buy an Xbox One now. Only after I get my PS4 though…

  • huntermc

    Seeing as how Microsoft has already given the NSA backdoor encryption keys for their products, I think it’s good that we no longer need a mandatory camera and microphone on the Xbox that runs 24/7.

  • Ultrazilla

    Personally, I never gave a shit about the whole Kinect always being on thing. The government and/or Microsoft spying on me? If they really want to see me playing video games while sitting in my cluttered apartment in my underwear…who am I to deny that dream?

    • Adam Dodd

      The only reason it ever bothered me is because I like to do the Buffalo Bill Dance in front of my Xbox.

  • dirtyghettok

    See, I called it since day one when everyone was whining like a bitch about everything the XBOX One was gonna be, and Microsoft changed it. As for the price, not gonna judge or care till it comes out as for they can change that on a whim as well.

  • pyrepunk

    I still won’t buy one Sony played it right this time around and while they have probably been tweaking their new ps to a great level to work properly and be playable, Microsoft is trying to fix their screw up which will probably cause the new xbox to be glitchy and retarded as hell because they aren’t taking the time to fix up their systems before release.

  • Slasher716

    I can’t complain either way. I’m getting both my Xbox One and PS4 on launch date for free πŸ™‚

    • Adam Dodd

      Wait. How are you managing that? Can we be friends?

      • Slasher716

        This wasn’t by my doing, I didn’t win the Xbox One and PS4 or anything.

        My birthday was August 1st and instead of people buyign me clothes or what have you. Since, I no longer have a video game console of my own, they pitched in to reserve me both Xbox One and PS4 in full. Nice of the friends and family πŸ™‚

        And sure!

        • weresmurf

          I think what he really means?

          “Can I visit your house post launch day for both and while you’re not looking, smother you with chloroform… then stick a carrot up your ass… then steal your xbox one and ps4, all your games, throw them in a car and drive off happily. Feel free to keep the carrot as a fond memory.”

          • Adam Dodd

            Yes, all of that, sans carrot. Also, I wish my family was as generous as yours.

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