The Xbox One will still function even when the Kinect sensor bar is unplugged or turned off, chief Xbox One platform architect Marc Whitten shared on IGN.
In a question and answer session between Whitten and users that had submitted questions to IGN, Whitten explained that while you can use the Xbox One without the Kinect plugged in or turned on, all of the Kinect-specific features will become unavailable, such as gestures and voice commands.
“Xbox One is designed to work with Kinect plugged in. It makes gaming better in many ways – from the ability to say “Xbox On” and get right to your personalized homescreen, to the ability to control your TV through voice, Smartglass and more. Kinect allows you to search for your content, instantly move between games and your personalized dash and more with just your voice. Kinect helps you pick up and play by automatically knowing which controller you have in your hands. No more need to interrupt your friends game or navigate through multiple UI screens to sign in and tell the system which controller you are holding. It will even bind the controller to the console if its currently unbound – no searching for special buttons! Of course – these are just a few of the system wide benefits of having Kinect. Games use Kinect in a variety of amazing ways from adding voice to control your squad mates to adding lean and other simple controls beyond the controller to full immersive gameplay. 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.”
The same applies to those that turn off the Kinect sensor in the console’s settings menu.
“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.”
Last week, it was reported that the users of the Xbox One and Xbox 360 will not be able to voice chat with each other.
To see the full contents of the Xbox One “Day One Edition,” you can watch Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb unbox the console here.
Now that we know that a Kinect sensor bar is not required for the Xbox One to function, it is odd that a SKU without the Kinect won’t be available. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.