Once again, a contentious feature of Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One has just been left to the wayside. Or in this case, things have been clarified a bit, so something's not quite as bad as once assumed.
MS had previously made it loud and clear that the new and improved Kinect is a part of the Xbox One, end of story. And it was assumed that, if one unplugged the motion sensing input device, as many wish they could, the console would not work.
Turns out, that's not quite the case.
Xbox One Chief Platform Architect Marc Whitten, in a Q&A hosted by IGN, was asked what would happen if one's Kinect was to break; would the One as a whole cease to operate? After pointing out all the truly magical things that the sensor allows one to do, like a good salesman, Whitten got to the heart of the matter by stating:
"… 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."
Basically, if you are comfortable with the idea of a system that, even when turned off, is always listening to you, so it knows when to power up, or like talking to your video game console, in a manner similar to how the captain of the USS Enterprise addresses the ship's computer, you'll need to keep your Kinect in safe place.
But given how the majority of hardcore gamers have made it loud and clear that they could care less about the Kinect, this is certainly good news. Though one has to wonder if this aspect of the Kinect has already been there, and we're only hearing about it now, or if this is yet something else that has been reworked due to overwhelmingly negative feedback.