Another significant Xbox One U-turn has been confirmed by Microsoft – the console will now work even if Kinect is not plugged in.
One of the many things consumers took issue with about Microsoft's original Xbox One plan was the fact that the console wouldn't even function if the Kinect camera wasn't plugged in. Not any more.
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,” Xbox One designer Marc Whitten told IGN.
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. We still support using it for IR blasting in this mode.
You can turn the sensor back on at any time through settings, and if you enter into a required Kinect experience (like Kinect Sports Rivals for instance), you'll get a message asking if you want to turn the sensor back on in order to continue.”
This development is the latest tactical rethink from Microsoft as it looks to repair the damage done by its E3 reveal. Other changes include the bundling of headsets with the console, needing to be connected to the internet and indie self-publishing.