Xbox One does not require Kinect 2.0

Microsoft’s Xbox One will come bundled with a Kinect 2.0 camera, designed by Microsoft to allow the console to be operated by voice commands and gestures. When the Xbox One was revealed, Microsoft said that the console would not work without the Kinect camera plugged in.

Weeks later, the company backtracked slightly on the requirements, saying that Kinect had to be plugged into the console, but could be turned off for those who were wary of privacy issues that surrounded Kinect’s always-on microphone that would listen for your voice commands.

In a recent interview with IGN, Microsoft’s Chief Xbox One architect, Marc Whitten, confirmed to IGN readers that the Xbox One now no longer needs Kinect to be plugged in to allow the console to operate normally. Removing or disabling Kinect will now only disable the ability to control the console using voice commands and gestures.

Q: Since Kinect must be plugged in for the Xbox One to function, what happens if your Kinect breaks? Like if it falls off the top of your TV onto a hardwood floor or something? Will the console cease to function?

Whitten: Xbox One is designed to work with Kinect plugged in. It makes gaming better in many ways – from the ability to say “Xbox On” and get right to your personalized homescreen, to the ability to control your TV through voice, Smartglass and more. That said, like [our] online [policy], 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.

Xbox One Kinect

Xbox One Kinect – click to enlarge

IGN readers asked a myriad of questions ranging from platform cross-chat, to Smartglass integration, headset bundling and separate achievements for the same game on each platform (yes, its possible to earn double, even triple Gamerscore for multiple versions of the same game). Another question was fielded about how Kinect would work if turned off and needed to be turned back on again:

Q: How “off” can Kinect be when the system is in use?

Whitten: 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.

Xbox One will launch sometime during Holiday 2013 bundled with the Kinect sensor, a redesigned controller and a mono audio headset for a recommended price of US $499, £429.99 or €499. Local availability or pricing has yet to be determined.

Source: IGN

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Xbox One recording features will cost you

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Forum discussion

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  • Vorastra

    M$. I am proud. At least you listened. Kinect no longer HAS TO BE plugged in. Finally.

    Damage is already done though.

  • TygerZA

    Now they just need to address the issue of people getting an add on device they don’t want, bundled with the console they do want, even though that add on device isn’t needed any more for the console to be used

  • Like the rest of their policies that they introduced in February and at E3, I knew this was going to happen. It was just a matter of time.

  • Windreaver

    Seamless, intuitive gesture control (which, like holographic projection), is probably what we all want to see in the future. It won’t improve if we don’t get with the program. So I don’t get what the big deal is about this. Yeah, early adopters of any tech pay a premium. Heck, as a beta tester, i pay a premium (in hours of my life) to help refine games for noobs to come and destroy the meta. But that’s how it is.

    The arguments against Kinect are like arguing that you want a smartphone, without a camera, simply because you won’t use that feature and it will make the phone cheaper. The PS3 was overengineered as well, seeing very little bluray usage at first. I didn’t see anyone calling fror a low-spec console, just because ‘x feature isn’t needed’. And if they did, imagine how stupid they feel now? If you want the world to move on, you need to get behind emerging tech.

  • HellHound1ZA

    Yes but, then you’ll get guys complaining they don’t have a Kinect when they want to use the voice commands and gestures in their games and end up blaming MS yet again. I don’t see all the hate towards tech thats going to change the way we play and see video games in the future, Its progression.

  • HellHound1ZA

    How exactly has the damage been done when the console hasn’t even been released yet? I find it funny how people say the damage has been done but, their life is no worse than before the announcements have been made so again, how has the “damage” been done, has it effected the way you play games? I think not. How has MS damaged your gaming time with announcements about a console that hasn’t been used by the public?

  • TygerZA

    Those that want to buy an add on camera device should be able to go buy it separately from the console. That’s way it is for PS3, PS4 and X360

Xbox One does not require Kinect 2.0

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