Another about-face for Microsoft when it comes to the Xbox One Entertainment system. The device will not need the Kinect camera turned on to work.
Originally Microsoft had touted the idea of an always-on Kinect motion sensor as one of the features of the new system, the idea being that the device’s motion and voice controls would be a selling point. The Xbox One would actually recognize which member of the family was using it.
Now the company says you can completely turn it off and still use the device. Of course any function that needs voice or motion, isn’t going to work and it seems to undercut the whole idea of what Microsoft said the device would be.
Privacy advocates were concerned over the idea of the device continually collecting data from users and many potential customers were squeamish about the idea.
Microsoft has already changed plans to require an always-on Internet connection for the system to work and pulled back on a policy that would have restricted the use of used games.
Proving that someone is always going to be unhappy no matter what you do, Microsoft is now drawing criticism for pulling back from having an always enabled Kinect. Critics say that was the feature that made Xbox one unique. The concern is that by backtracking on the Kinect requirement, Microsoft will make if much less likely that developers will come up with new and interesting ideas for the Kinect.
Xbox One will be released in time for the holiday season and will be priced at $499.