In a surprise twist of events, Xbox Corporate Vice President Marc Whitten spoke today with IGN, confirming that the Xbox One will no longer require the Kinect accessory to be connected in order to operate the console and access some of its features.
After much industry backlash at E3 2013 in June, Microsoft has since amended many controversial facets of the Xbox One, including DRM policy. During Ask Microsoft Anything, Marc had explained that features such as online play will run as intended even when the Kinect accessory is unplugged from the machine.
Of course, many of the Xbox One’s bells and whistles such as player identification via video or voice commands would not function, features that integrated well with Microsoft’s initial vision of their entertainment system but also means that privacy concerns surrounding the company and their seemingly intrusive policies can now be laid to rest.
Abandoning Kinect connectivity is a bold escalation, yet may just be the move Microsoft requires to take in order to stay competitive against the consumer-friendly Playstation 4. For those who were concerned about an always on system, you’ve nothing to fear and can now look forward to playing the next-gen Halo title comfortably in your underpants.
How do you feel about this recent amendment in console politics? Love it or hate it? Sound off in the comments section below!