The Xbox One is only a few months away from its release, but Microsoft is still making some changes to how the thing works.

In an interview with IGN, Xbox One chief architect Marc Whitten revealed that the gamers don’t need to keep their Kinect 3D motion camera plugged in for the Xbox One to work. Whitten talked up the camera’s capabilities, which include turning the system on without a controller, before announcing the policy change.

“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,” said Whitten. 

Microsoft previously promised gamers that they could turn off the Kinect, but it strongly suggested the console wouldn’t function if the camera wasn’t plugged in. The camera will still have an off mode for those who don’t want to unplug it, but want it dormant most of the time.


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“You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings,” Whitten told IGN. “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.”

GamesBeat confirmed with Microsoft that this is accurate, but we’re still waiting to hear if the company will consider selling a cheaper version of the Xbox One without Kinect.

This is another shift in messaging from Microsoft regarding its next-gen console.

Just a few months ago, Microsoft revealed a $500 Xbox One that required an online connection and didn’t supported used games. It wouldn’t work without the Kinect plugged in, it didn’t comes with a headset, and the publisher made no mention of changes to its publishing policies at the Xbox One reveal event or E3.

Now, the company is about to release a $500 Xbox One that will support self-publishing for all developers. It will work just fine without the Internet. Used games will work as they do on Xbox 360, it comes with a headset, and the Kinect is optional.

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