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Kinect no longer required for Xbox One

kinect

Microsoft is promising to knock it out of the park at Gamescom in Cologne with Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer slated to give the opening keynote, but they are firing the opening salvos already.  They’ve announced that the previously-required Kinect is no longer mandatory to the functionality of the Xbox One.  Xbox VP Marc Whitten revealed today that you’ll be able to use all of the Xbox One’s functionality (other than when the Kinect is the central part of the experience, i.e. Kinect Rivals) without the device plugged in.  Here’s a bit from Microsoft PR rep Albert Penello from GAF:

We still believe in Kinect. We aren’t interested in splitting the development base. The more demos I’ve seen, the more I’ve used it – the more impressed I am. The team feels strongly about Kinect, and I hope we’re able to prove that when you use it.

We also have a ton of privacy settings to allow people to turn off the camera, or microphones, or put it in a state just for “Xbox On” and IR blasting – there will be a lot of user control for that.

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. And clearly the “it dropped” scenario is possible.

The most obvious thing is watching a DVD/BD, or streaming a movie, or HDMI pass-through, your experience isn’t impacted (except you miss voice and IR blasting)

There is no “gotcha”, but obviously, if there is a game that REQUIRES Kinect (like Rivals), or something where Kinect IS the experience (like Skype), those won’t work.

That said, for people who have privacy concerns there are user control settings, which we believe are great.

The new Kinect is pretty fantastic.  I can say that as I’ve gotten hands-on time with it.  Thankfully, given that the device is included in the box, it doesn’t fracture the userbase.  I guess we’ll see what else they have to say next week!   It’s going to be a wild ride to the holiday…

Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief | [email protected]

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming.

Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter.

Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 28 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes), and an Axolotl named Dagon!

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