Microsoft throws another reversal play with news today that the Kinect not only doesn’t have to be on for the Xbox One to work, it doesn’t even have to be plugged in. This news coming just after Microsoft announced it would support self publishing of games.
The Corporate Vice President of Xbox, Marc Whitten, spoke with IGN today about this new policy reversal. He stated that while the Xbox One was designed to function with the Kinect plugged in, just like the online functions, the Xbox One will function without the Kinect on.
IGN asked just how “off” the Kinect can be, to which Whitten answered “totally off.”
“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 makes the fourth policy since the console’s announcement in May that Microsoft has reversed. Starting with the always online, and strict DRM functions, to indie game support, and today’s statement about the Kinect. Is this Microsoft listening to public outcry, and if so, is it enough to win back the hearts and trust of jaded gamers around the world? Or has this all just been a clever marketing ploy?