When Microsoft announced the Xbox One in May, the company told many disappointed gamers that the One would require Kinect - an always-on connection - in order to operate the console. Understandably, this upset a lot of people. Today, Microsoft has announced that Kinect is no longer required in order to use the One console. Here are the details.
No Connection Required, But...
Even though One console owners will no longer have to have Kinect in order to use the console, the One sensor won't be functional unless Kinect is operational. Microsoft hasn't stated whether or not the One will ship without the Kinect sensor, but chances are that the sensor will be included in the One package.
So, you may not need to have Kinect connected at all times, but you can't use the One sensor without it. So, there's something to think about. Why did Microsoft make this change? For a couple of reasons, it seems. One is that most people were unhappy about the mandatory Kinect connection. Another has to do with the NSA.
NSA Paranoia Sneaks In
Government spying has been on the top of every Internet user's mind lately. It seems as though there's no end in sight, either. As encrypted email services are shut down and government documents are exposed, it becomes clearer and clearer that the US government has access to anything Internet related.
This knowledge has caused some people to wonder whether or not the NSA would have access to things that people do on the Microsoft One console. Specifically, people were worried that the Kinect sensor would let the government spy on things happening with the console.
This might sound a bit paranoid (and it probably is), but the fear is real enough to cause a number of would-be One buyers to purchase the new console. Is this a logical fear? Who knows; but there won't be any mandatory Kinect feature anymore.
Another Option Is Possible
There's also the possibility that Microsoft may ship the One without Kinect. If this happens, the console will likely be cheaper for gamers to purchase. This might be a good move on the part of Microsoft, since more people are likely to purchase the console if Kinect is not included and not a part of raising the price of the overall console.
Microsoft has not weighed in on these speculations yet, but the company has said with certainty that Kinect will not be mandatory any longer. For some gamers, the option to purchase a One console without Kinect is a great option. For others, the One console is kind of pointless without Kinect.
Release Date and Other Details
The Microsoft One (with Kinect) will be available in November for $499 USD (in the United States). Yes, that's a high price to pay, which is why Microsoft might nix the Kinect portion of the One in order to drop that price down to around $300. But, only time will tell.
If Microsoft does drop the price of the One, will you buy it?