Kinect Is No Longer Mandatory For Xbox One


In addition to reversing its used game DRM policies for Xbox One, Microsoft has revealed that the console will no longer require Kinect to function. In our latest Ask Microsoft Anything, Xbox Corporate Vice President Marc Whitten revealed that Xbox One owners will be able to use all of the console's core functions regardless of whether the new Kinect sensor is connected. Naturally, many of the tentpole features of the new Kinect, such as player identification, voice commands, etc., will be disabled as a result, but players will still be able to play games and access entertainment content.


From MS PR (Albert Penello), posted on 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.

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pacostacos1471d ago (Edited 1471d ago )

"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"
Soooooo microsoft/nsa can not be using kinect to Spy on you becaue you can simply UNPLUG it preventing it from stealing your identity/life/soul/children/nu des.

Please remember to recycle your tin foil hats everybody!

Abash1471d ago

Now they just need to make a cheaper SKU that doesnt include Kinect

JhawkFootball061471d ago (Edited 1471d ago )

Nice to see Microsoft listening to their customers. I know many people who are not comfortable with the Kinect being plugged in at all times. This just gives them reassurance that they can still play without it.

-Alpha1471d ago (Edited 1471d ago )

I wouldn't be surprised if they do this, but it's definitely not a good future for Kinect if the userbase is so fractured. It seems that they don't want to give Kinect up, but if you don't need it plugged in, then people are going to continue to push for a Kinect-less option.

MS has to consider if it's better to lower the price and compete out of the gate against PS4's pricing, or if Kinect is a long-term advantage that needs time for its consumers to grow into.

Edit: actually, I guess if anything it's a peace of mind. I think most people who choose to spend the extra $100 on Xbox One will leave it plugged in, considering the ease of use and the way the UI is focused around Kinect makes it more convenient.

creatchee1471d ago

No. No SKU without Kinect. This is absolutely perfect. Everybody gets Kinect, so developers can make features assuming 100% adoption, and you don't have to plug it in if you don't want to.

4Sh0w1471d ago (Edited 1471d ago )

Why did Kotaku try to make it seem like a bad thing. This is for all the conspiracy theorists who said it would be spying on them.

Its still needed if you want to use kinect features.

Its great to see microsoft are listening to gamers.

slimeybrainboy1471d ago (Edited 1471d ago )

EDIT: Read it all wrong.

This is another 180 aha. Microsoft are like Tony Hawking the shit out of those 180's!

JhawkFootball061471d ago


Did you read the article?

"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."

georgeenoob1471d ago Show
dedicatedtogamers1471d ago

This is great news simply because it leaves open the possibility for a Kinect-less SKU at a reasonable price. Seriously, the X1 should be the same price as PS4, if not cheaper, based on the hardware inside. Give customers the option, Microsoft.

Tony-A1471d ago

This is a very big improvement.

Why they didn't bother revealing all the negative aspects of the XBO in their reveal and flip everything according to feedback by E3 will never make sense to me. This would have erased a huge majority of negative press they've gotten all summer, but instead they've gotta work hand-over-fist to make it more closely resemble their competitor.

All that's left is the price - the biggest launch hurdle in my opinion.

mikeslemonade1471d ago

The part about how we hated the "spying 24/7 on you" was mainly a joke. No one really cared and if you really did care then all you had to do was cover the camera and plug the microphone.

What the gamers cared about was that it was an added cost that you are forced to buy. Regardless if you can unplug or not we don't want it to be a forced cost. If you really wanted to force it on the gamer then put it inside the damn system! Then you can say that camera feature if is innate system feature that will be utilized in almost all/all games.

No_Limit1471d ago

Great to hear. As already seen from the unboxing, the Kinect is a separate camera that can detached from the port so I am not suprise that this is the case.

I still think the console should come with the Kinect so it can utilize it to its full potential but for people that are NSA paranoid, this will ease their pain. No required mandatory internet and no Kinect required, the NSA trolls are running out of excuse now. I am loving it! :)

black0o1471d ago

@gerg think before u speak up plzz


the user base wont be fractured, people who don't want it will just unplug it.

everyone else can go on using it as they will. they can still supply it with every xbo.

gaffyh1471d ago

Kinect-less SKU incoming, guaranteed. Might not be available at launch, but definitely next by the end of next year.

karl1471d ago

developers cannot make games based on kinect considering 100 percent adoption because ps4 doesnt have one and MS only works third party games...

nukeitall1471d ago

I betcha the vast majority will hook it up, use it and freaking enjoy it!

Just like how the vast majority hates Google for the privacy, yet they continue to use it, because it is the best search engine and email out there.

By easing people's irrational fear, more people will use Kinect One. Just watch!

Gasian1471d ago (Edited 1471d ago )

My gut tells me Microsoft wants to include the Kinect for the initial install base of the Xbox One ,but now with all these 180's that have happened because of the backlash they have received it is probably likely not to doubt them having a cheaper SKU without the kinect. GamesCom is near so hopefully we get our answers there.

On another note, Pandas are awesome.

Insomnia_841471d ago

So far this looks like a trap more than anything else! Seriously, why not just have an sku without the camara then? They will make you plug that thing one way or another by having devs implement things to games that can only be done with Kinect, they know you have one, they know they MADE YOU have one so they will do it and then you will have no choice but keep the thing always plugged!

Not convinced yet Microsoft!!! This sounds like anotber one of your dirty tactics!

black0o1471d ago

XboxOne should be called xbox720
180 DRM
180 headset
180 indie
180 kinect

NatureOfLogic1471d ago

So if we go back to Xbox One initial reveal/Post E3, Xbox One is so different now. That being said, MS is clueless when it comes to understanding it's fanbase. I see MS is trying to kill two birds with one stone here. If they don't don't make it mandatory, It's satisfy some of the people worried, but more importantly, It opens up future possibilities for a kineticless sku to match the price of PS4 if it dominants. MS's main worry is sales, not gamers concerns.

Dee_911471d ago

I love that they are making this change.What I hate is how this is yet another thing they've made seem like the xbox just cant function without.If your consumers are vocal about a valid concern, stop trying to sway them with that PR bs.It will be hard for me to believe them when they say this and that is necessary for xbox, because now I know that its really not no matter what they say, the more options you have the better.That was my main thing with them, all of the mandatory crap, hopefully they learned that options will always be better than mandatory.

Despite that,this is great news,... and another time for the " normal people" to make fun of conspiracy theorist.. funny if a conspiracy theorist said something like a spying program from the NSA exist the amount of clever tin foil hats would be through the roof :)

darthv721471d ago (Edited 1471d ago )

no longer mandatory but still keep it in the total package.

Id hate for them to relegate it to 2nd class accessory status.

If they are in the mood for changes....the name should be next i guess.

SilentNegotiator1471d ago

If the Kinect fans want to go out and support Kinect, they can do so. But I don't want to spend an extra $100 for Kinect.

Let us vote with our wallets on whether or not Kinect gets support; not by forced inclusion.

vulcanproject1471d ago

Well done for making something how it should have been all along. I do find it difficult to give credit because it's bleedin obvious this is how it should have been all along.

One less thing for people to moan about I spose

frostypants1471d ago

Yeah devs don't have to support it and I don't have to use it, but I still have to pay for it? **** you, Microsoft.

Man2bFree1471d ago

LMAO!! I don't trust this company at all!!

NewMonday1471d ago

I just got way more excited for next gen, becaus now we have a real competion, props to MS, now I'm sure to get an XB1 sometime in the future after the PS4, before it was "never" with the mandatory Kinect.

now the price needs to go down to $350 to reflect the new value and MS need to make big risky investments on new 1st party games to set it apart.

gamer power works

DragonKnight1471d ago


Bravo Microsoft. It took you long enough, but now you've finally come full circle and regained your senses.

Excellent move. Kudos Xbox One and its fans.

MRMagoo1231471d ago

"Nice to see Microsoft listening to their customers" kinda odd that they are listening to customers when it was said by a lot of ppl on here that it was only the sony fanboys that cared and they wherent getting one anyway, I wanna know which it is

A) It was only the sony fanboys that cared just to troll, which wouldnt make sense why would MS change there console soooooo much for sony trolls or the more likely

B)That ppl in general wherent happy with the xbone and only the xbone fanboys thought it was a good console, which makes more sense becuase then MS may actually care.

MS have a really good track record so far for next gen now lol "the console has to stay online it was built around it there is nothing we can do to change that and it wont change" nows it can stay offline for ever if you want it to

Then "The console was designed around the kinect it cant just function without it and we wont change that" now its able to work without the kinect fullstop.

This flip flopping doesnt fill me with confidence, it makes me think noone at MS knows what they are doing with the xbone at all.

This is not meant to be a troll or fanboy driblle i am just stating what it is.

stage881471d ago

So you still have to pay $100 more even though Kinect is not needed.

The console is a shambles. I literally have no faith in Microsoft or the Xbox brand.

sinjonezp1471d ago

Its a simple rhetorical question. If it is not required, why am I required to buy it?

fr0sty1471d ago (Edited 1471d ago )

That's the only hurdle holding me back now that they've dropped kinect, price. It's far too expensive for inferior hardware. If MS can hit the $400 (preferably $350) sweet spot, I'll consider jumping on board if the games justify the purchase.

However, I will still have to spend some time mulling over if I want to support the company that tried shoving DRM down all of our throats, but hey, one can never recover from a mistake if not ever given the chance to redeem themselves. However, there is still the stink of MS putting half of X1's features behind a paywall that lingers... As well as all "free" to play games.

There still are a few things about the console I don't like, but I'm not sure at this point that they are enough to keep me from ever buying one. This is the first time since the first Xbox they've had me even consider buying any of their products, so it's a step in the right direction at least.