Another smart move from Microsoft:
Our understanding of the new Kinect, which came packaged with the system and had to be connected in order for the Xbox One to function. Microsoft eventually clarified that you can disable most Kinect functions except having it listen for “Xbox On.” But the situation was both murky and irksome enough to fall into Gaming Editor Kyle Orland’s “What we think we know about what Microsoft isn’t saying about the Xbox One” FAQ style round-up.
Today, Microsoft inadvertently shed more light on this predicament. During an “Ask Microsoft anything” liveblog hosted by IGN, Chief Xbox One Platform Architect Marc Whitten fielded a question about what happens if a Kinect breaks. He first rhapsodized about the idealistic intent of the Kinect but finished the response with “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.”
Most consumers won’t care one way or the other. But the ones who do care (me, for example) now have the option to unplug the damn thing.