In the latest in a long string of u-turns, retractions, and good old fashioned back-pedalling, Microsoft have announced that the new Xbox One will not require a Kinect to operate.
This goes against what had been previously known, and was revealed in an interview between IGN and Chief Xbox One Platform Architect Marc Whitten.
Whitten made it clear that “like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in”, though this admission seemed begrudging following a long defence of the benefits offered by the Kinect.
“Xbox One is designed to work with Kinect plugged in. It makes gaming better in many ways – from the ability to say “Xbox On” and get right to your personalized homescreen, to the ability to control your TV through voice, Smartglass and more.”
Gamers will also be able to turn the Kinect off completely when it’s connected, so that none of its sensors (bar the infra-red) will be “collecting any information”.
“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.”
The interview also revealed further details about the new console, including the news that there will be no cross-console voice chat between the One and the 360 and that the Xbox One will come boxed with a chat headset (though we’d seen this in the recent unboxing of the console).
Microsoft also recently released a seven minute video detailing the new Xbox controller. Though they also disappointed fans by stating that the wired version of the controller would not work with PCs until 2014.