Marc Whitten has confirmed to IGN that the Xbox One will function even if Kinect is not plugged in. Microsoft had previously stated that the console would require Kinect to be plugged in at all times.
Whitten said the console would work without Kinect after listing several features that the sensor adds to the Xbox One. “That said, 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,” he said, in part.
“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.”
This afternoon Microsoft’s senior director of product planning, Albert Penello, took to NeoGAF to give some information about why the firm made the change.
“The thing we all understood, and hence this change, is that there are some scenarios where people just may not be comfortable,” Penello wrote, in part. “We wanted people to be 100 percent comfortable, so we allow the sensor to be unplugged.”