Microsoft have reversed another one of their polarising policies and announced that the Xbox One will no longer require Kinect to function.
Kinect no longer essential
It has taking quite a while, but Microsoft have finally announced that their new Xbox One console will work and function whether Kinect is plugged in or not.
When it was originally announced that the Xbox One and Kinect were inextricably linked with the feature always on – many were worried by the thought of their console seeing, recording and having access to the privacy of one’s home. It even sparked some wild conspiracy theories likening the console to a “Big Brother” recording device.
Well those lavish conspiracies can be put to bed, the Xbox one will no longer require Kinect.
Move represents another 180 by Microsoft
This latest announcement represents another reversal to a policy that has been polarising opinions since the unveil at E3. It follows on from Microsoft’s decision to reverse their used game policy and also their controversial “Always Online” policy.
It is believed that the root of the decision to remove Kinect as a mandatory feature lies with the fact that Microsoft want gamers to be 100% comfortable with the Xbox One as a device and being in their living rooms.
“The thing we all understood, and hence this change, is that there are some scenarios where people just may not be comfortable. We wanted people to be 100% comfortable, so we allow the sensor to be unplugged.” Microsoft senior executive Albert Penello has been quoted.
Removal of Kinect – good or bad?
So how is the removal of Kinect going to affect the Xbox One in the long term?
It certainly opens up the option for Microsoft to release a cheaper version of the Xbox one that doesn’t include the Kinect device as standard in the future. It is rumoured that Kinect adds $100 to the Xbox One RRP.
However, the removal of the device as a mandatory feature means that game developers are faced with a difficult decision whether to dedicate a lot of time to a feature that many gamers will now not have to use and in the future may even be phased out.
This could possibly tamper the excitement building for the new Kinect 2.0 which is set to be much more advanced technology wise, then its predecessor. However, all Xbox One consoles will still ship with the unit for now.