Another step in the right direction
The first installment of the Microsoft's IGN-hosted Ask Me Anything about the Xbox One wasn't particularly eventful, but the real fun has started with this week's questions. Going off the assumption that Kinect is mandatory for the system to function, a reader asked what would happen if their Kinect broke. Chief platform architect Mark Whitten clarified that that's actually not the case.
Well, in fairness, he spent the majority of his response talking about how great Kinect for Xbox One will be before finally dropping the bomb that, "like online, 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." Which could mean a lot of things, some not so good, but overall this is encouraging news for players who want to resist Microsoft's motion-controlled future as much as possible.
In a follow-up question about how 'off' Kinect can be while the Xbox One is in use, 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." We'll still have to pay for the thing since it's bundled in, bu--actually, at this rate, maybe not.