The good news keeps coming for soon-to-be Xbox One owners (see our recent post on sharing digital games and Xbox Live Gold). Marc Whitten, Xbox Corporate VP, has also just revealed that the Xbox One will not require the new Kinect in order to function normally.
This represents somewhat of an (Xbox) 180, as back in May Phil Spencer, Microsoft Studios Corporate VP, told everyone that the console would in fact require the Kinect to be plugged in to function.
Speaking to IGN, Whitten said that while you’ll be able to use your Xbox One without the Kinect plugged in, any features that require the Kinect will obviously not be functional.
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. 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.
Chalk another positive change up to Microsoft and the Xbox One.