The Xbox One has once again shifted gears as it has announced that the Xbox One now WILL be able to work without the Kinect. Last night Microsft Public Relations Rep Albert Penello said via NeoGaf:
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.
I’m pretty happy about this for a few reasons.
First off, it shows that Microsoft is at least listening to its consumers. After the criticism it received from its Used games announcement and the previous Kinect requirement, it’s nice to see them taking what the consumers said seriously. It shows flexibility in the company and a willingness to appeal to its consumers. A lot of the problems people had with the Xbox previously were mostly that they didn’t care about what the consumers wanted, and they have proven once again that they are listening and totally willing to reverse policies that people don’t want on the Xbox One, so bravo Microsoft, the Xbox One is looking more appealing every day.
Secondly, this announcement will surely be followed by a cheaper, basic package of the Xbox One. It just makes sense. If the Kinect isn’t required, it would be illogical to not sell a version without it.
Now does this mean some developers aren’t going to take as much advantage of the impressive piece of tech that is the Kinect? Maybe, but probably not. They’ll probably be encouraged to do even more with it now as it isn’t a requirement and Microsoft will still want people to buy it and use it. That will only happen if fun and easy to use content is available for the Kinect.
Anyway, that’s my two cents on why Microsoft and the Xbone are looking better.
Are you still sour on the Xbox One?
Looking forward to it?
Let us know in the comments