It appears like Microsoft has something new to reveal about Xbox One every week.
For the Xbox One to function, as Microsoft announced earlier, the Kinect has to be connected to it. It was revealed that the console can stay in a low-power state even when switched off for downloading games or updates, and it will also listen to Kinect commands. Later on, Microsoft confirmed that most Kinect functions can be switched off except its ability to listen for “Xbox On“. And now it appears like we won’t need the sensor after all.
Chief Xbox One Platform Architect Marc Whitten, at an “Ask Microsoft anything” liveblog by IGN, revealed that the Xbox One “will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in”.
When IGN readers wanted to know more, Whitten said:
“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”.
And earlier Kotaku confirmed that there won’t be any Kinect-free Xbox One package available for purchase and games which make use of Kinect features can be played without the sensor. So why do we need a Kinect, the manufacturing costs of which is reportedly almost as much as the console?