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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pacostacos1772d ago (Edited 1772d 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!

Abash1772d ago

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

JhawkFootball061772d ago (Edited 1772d 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.

-Alpha1772d ago (Edited 1772d 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.

creatchee1772d 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.

4Sh0w1772d ago (Edited 1772d 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.

slimeybrainboy1772d ago (Edited 1772d ago )

EDIT: Read it all wrong.

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

JhawkFootball061772d 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."

georgeenoob1772d ago Show
dedicatedtogamers1772d 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-A1772d 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.

mikeslemonade1772d 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_Limit1772d 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! :)

black0o1772d 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.

gaffyh1772d ago

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

karl1772d ago

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

nukeitall1772d 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!

Gasian1772d ago (Edited 1772d 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_841772d 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!

black0o1772d ago

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

NatureOfLogic1772d 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_911772d 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 :)

darthv721772d ago (Edited 1772d 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.

SilentNegotiator1772d 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.

ProjectVulcan1772d 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

frostypants1772d 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.

Man2bFree1772d ago

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

NewMonday1772d 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

DragonKnight1772d 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.

MRMagoo1231772d 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.

stage881772d 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.

sinjonezp1772d ago

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

fr0sty1772d ago (Edited 1772d 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.

user55757081772d ago

wow gamestop might be loaded with used kinects after launch day now

Rhinoceros1772d ago

ONCE THEY DO THAT I AM NOT GOING TO BUY AN X1. The point is that everyone has it, so that developers have an incentive to augment games. Conservative gamers are ruining my next gen dreams.

madpuppy1772d ago

I have to agree with creatchee, Even though I have no love for MS or the Xbone I think it would be a mistake to have a model without kinect bundled with it. I think it was a mistake for Sony not to have the PS eye bundled with the PS4 as well, I think that the fracturing of the market will damage the camera's (for both consoles) adoption and developers expectation of being able to use the device with their games. I understand the privacy issue, but, having the camera and mike array being disconnected or "turned off" is good enough.

Kryptix1772d ago

I'll give them some respect for removing something that made many uncomfortable. The problem is that it's still a mandatory buy for everyone. If they can make a SKU without it, dropping the $100 then it can be close to PS4 sales in the US. This doesn't change much since the competition still has a more powerful console with a cheaper price tag. Microsoft's biggest mistake is not showing anything of the cloud or Kinect 2.0 that makes gamers feel that the $500 is worth it. A video or two would probably make a difference, but Microsoft are really in panic mode, trying to satisfy the consumer but they have a problem showing how a feature is worth paying the $500. Just like if they explained that the DRM would mean cheaper games similar to Steam then that probably would be likable. We'll never know but can't wait till Gamescom, hopefully we'll get our answers on both sides.

Diver1772d ago

And now my victory is complete.

Lord Vader only rocks on PS4.

UnHoly_One1772d 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."

So here we are, after all this "being spied on is the reason I'm not buying an XB1" crap over the past two months, now it's "just a joke".

You guys like to talk about Xbox making 180's, but you insane Sony fanboys are worse than they could ever hope to be.

Honestly after reading the behavior of Sony fans on this site I'm ashamed, literally ASHAMED, to be buying a Sony product at all, because I never want anyone to mistake me for one of you.

Pathetic idiots. I've never seen stupidity to match the Sony fanboys on this site. It's amazing.

Kryptix1772d ago (Edited 1772d ago )

"Honestly after reading the behavior of Sony fans on this site I'm ashamed, literally ASHAMED, to be buying a Sony product at all, because I never want anyone to mistake me for one of you." -UnHoly_One

A true Microsoft fanboy right here. If someone gifted you a PS4, you would rather perform hara-kiri (death of a samurai/suicide) with the power cord. lol For you shall be resurrected as the protector of Microsoft fanboys. Teaching the ways like giving advice to Georgeenoob to make better comments cause he really needs it. lol

Omegasyde1772d ago


If MS makes the SKU without the kinect, they will more than likely split support for the camera among developers (why work on a feature only 50% has or why waste the time).

I definitely foresee a Kinect free bundle coming at 400$ in the not so distant future. Ironically, day 1 xbox1 owners will get screwed for being early adopters. Then these early adopters feeling some "buyers" remorse will try and justify themselves by stating they actually use the camera all the time or have a limited edition xbox1. Atleast early PS3 adopters had the cheapest blu-ray player and backwards compatibility.

This has to be sloppiest console launch ever.

minimur121772d ago

this is just embarasssing.

It's gettingto a point were its just effing ridiculous.


TheFanboySlayer1772d ago

Sooooo many reversals I swear now the only thing separating the PS4 and xbox one is games and price....gonna be a interesting console war.

Boody-Bandit1772d ago (Edited 1772d ago )


XboxOne should be called xbox720
180 DRM
180 headset
180 indie
180 Kinect"

At the rate things are going with MS I wouldn't be surprised if they keep on tallying 180's. MS is making these changes for a reason, they had to. I will be SHOCKED if a SKU @399 is NOT announced without Kinect included. It wouldn't make sense for them making this move and not using it where it would benefit them most, a cheaper SKU. It most likely will be announced at gamescom next week.

Red_Devilz1771d ago

Now they just need to print a PS logo on XB1. Thats the only thing remaining!

Never in my life I had seen so many 180s. Its like they didn't have any plan to begin with.

JohnnyBadfinger1771d ago

But what about my headset? If i leave that plugged into my controller what reassurance do i have to know it isn't listening to my every word??

That's a obvious joke guys. Like most people I couldn't give a flying fuck whether or not some NSA fuckwit was watching or listening to me. But still I couldn't understand why a console accessory was a "always connect" feature... It's just as easy to crack it out and plug it in when its actually need... Plus less likely to get damaged that way also

BattleAxe1771d ago

Its starting to look more and more like Don Mattrick was the person holding the Xbox division back. Imagine how good the Xbox 360 could have been without this guy.

RyuCloudStrife1771d ago

This is great news I applaud MS.

tokugawa1771d ago (Edited 1771d ago )

@dedicatedtofanboys. you just cant resist trolling can you? ffs give it a rest. also, could you tell us exactly what is inside the xbo? clock speeds and stuff. because as far as i know, nothing has been officially announced yet

@ battleaxe. i keep thinking the same thing. that most of xbo's decisions came from mattrick. and now that he is gone, they are working on reversing them one at a time.

i think that a price drop is coming at gamescom

vigilante_man1771d ago

Kinnect 2 is now stone cold dead in the water!

What about the millions they must of spent for forthcoming adverts with TV and Kinnect a focal point?

Once they ship XB1 without Kinnect to chase sales from PS4 it will signal the end for Kinnect 2. How much will they have lost in R&D and manufacturing for this thing?

SolidStoner1771d ago

180 DRM
180 headset
180 indie
180 kinect

who says it stops right there.. it soon will be called Xbox 72,000,000...

CommonSense1771d ago

The ONLY way that would ever happen is if years from now, they realize nobody is developing for it and very few people are using it.

I don't see it every happening.

BuLLDoG9091771d ago

MS been scratching their heads while looking at their dreadful preorder numbers compared to ps4.

They didnt change shit for "us", its because of the numbers, thats all. still good news though.

Sugreev20011771d ago

If they announce a Kinect-less SKU,then I might even think about buying an Xbone. I'm still buying the PS4 at launch though.

VENOMACR1771d ago

I don't know why everyone says it HAS to be cheaper. It's $100 more, it's not the end of the world. To me, comparing the two and one costing a little more then the other isn't that big of a deal. How many of you will buy a PS4 and no games when it comes out? None of you. You'll buy the system, maybe an extra controller ($50), then at least 2 games ($120), so your total is almost $600 after taxes. So your able to come up with the extra money for all that, yet the $100 extra price tag on the Xbox is outrageous. I'm not a millionaire, I'm not rich, but in the grand scheme of things $100 isnt make or break for me. Hell, I spend $65 every week for gas. I know everyone's financial situation isn't that same, but at the end of the day I don't think they have to lower it to compete. The reputation is already tarnished and lowering the price by $100 won't make them the favorite.

I'll probably just use the Kinect to Skype, thats about it.

The_Con-Sept1771d ago

Another epic win for gamers!

Now this is mostly an even battleground for this gen of the console wars. Now we get to see the fanboys glaze over at the lense of truth site.

andrewsqual1771d ago

@JhawkFootball06 Because, news just in, people still aren't preordering it. If they listened to their customers then why is Netflix not accessible without Xbox Live Gold this years?
Becasue you already have gold and their console that is why. In this case, nobody has or wants the console yet at this time. But yeah totally listening to their fans.
Tell me how many people asked for a butchered Killer Instinct made by a terrible dev team?

Shadonic1771d ago (Edited 1771d ago )

So your saying you want them to screw themselves over profit wise and to not make anything from sales ?

pixelsword1771d ago (Edited 1771d ago )

They'll need to do a 3rd unveiling after this.

I do appreciate them making that change; if any of Microsoft's big-wigs are reading here, thank you. I did not like where that console was going in terms of privacy.

At any rate, I kinda called it on how they were going to try to capture the xbox crowd again, I didn't calculate them folding on the kinect though, they were kinda adamant about having it central to their console:

Razputin1771d ago


No clue why you have disagrees, but I believe MS might have done this to release a non Kinect included version of the Xbox One.

It could seem like a really smart plan.
And I don't get people, they bitched about the Kinect being mandatory and now there is an article about it not being mandatory. Seriously are people so miserable and disappointed in their lives that they have to resort to trivial crap like this.

abzdine1771d ago

PS4 preorders destroyed them and they have no choice if they're hoping to compete.
No matter what changes they do, PS4 will be the console I'm choosing cause it has been designed correct from the beginning!

+ Show (60) more repliesLast reply 1771d ago
Virus2011772d ago

No no, the complaining will now shift to "why include it?!?". These are the same people that would never have bought it though.

black0o1772d ago

guess what at gamesCom next week ms will take the knict out of the box and make the price 400$

and that's 'd their last move to keep up with the unstoppable ps4, funny part is that it won't even help ;)

InTheLab1772d ago

Or maybe the people that don't want to pay $100+ for something they'll never use?


there are plenty of us who would have bought it and flipped sides because of all this crap.

There are plenty of people who would have gladly bought both systems (like me)... but again because of ms crap, simply decided to stick with just one system instead.

this whole thing about oh the people complaining would never have bought it... considering right now the gap between 360 and ps3 is so close and yet the gap between the xbo and ps4 was so large, that gap had to come from somewhere.

everyone keeps saying that the complainers are only a small group on the internet.. .well if we are that small why would MS be listening to us, and if they are not listening to us then who are they listening to ?

personally I think it's the opposite. it's the people defending ms and the bullcrap it tried to pull off who are in the small group and the majority are in the other camp.

zeal0us1772d ago

Yep so MS might as well offer a Xbox One variant without Kinect include for a cheaper price.

For the people who preorder the Xbox One with the Kinect just give them 3 or 6months of XBLG or some credit they could use to buy things on XBL marketplace.

Deadpoolio1772d ago

It's still pretty pathetic. It's like a crackhead offering to suck you off for a rock. IF I had any interest in an XBO all these One80s would definitely push me away from their product, It really shows a lack of faith and conviction in their product and that they are so desperate to not have a bad launch they are going to keep saying whatever they need to...Yet there will be idiots who think it's because they are listening lol they don't care they just want to make money and If sucking you off gets people to buy an XBO then that is what they will do