Xbox One won't require Kinect to function

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It's time for another Microsoft u-turn on Xbox One policies.

This time, the company has announced that the Kinect will not be required to be connected at all times for the console to function. This could well pave the way for a cheaper Kinect-less Xbox One SKU.

"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 chief product office Marc Whitten told IGN.

Microsoft had earlier maintained that since Kinect was an integral part of the Xbox One's development, Kinect would be required to be connected at all times, suggesting that the console wouldn't function without it. Clearly, that wasn't actually the case.

Further explaining the console's functioning with Kinect unplugged, Whitten said, 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 is the company's third major policy change in the last couple of months. In June, it announced that the console would not lock out used games and that it would not requires a daily online check-in for the console in function.

Then last month, Microsoft opened up to indie developers, announcing that it will allow developers to self-publish games on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It went a step further by announcing that all Xbox One consoles would double up as dev kits.

More details on self-publishing will be divulged at Gamescom in Germany later this month, where Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer is set to present a keynote.

Click here to see what else you can expect from Gamescom this year.

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