Microsoft: Xbox One can still work without Kinect sensor connected

Microsoft will include a more advanced version of its Kinect sensor and camera with every $499.99 Xbox One console. Ever since this was first announced back in May, Microsoft has defended adding the Kinect to the Xbox One package, even calling it an "essential and integrated part of the platform."

But what if the Kinect sensor is not connected to the Xbox One, as a result of the sensor breaking in some way, perhaps from falling off its perch near a TV? Will Xbox One owners still be able to play games? In IGN's weekly Ask Microsoft Anything Q&A, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Marc Whitten was asked that very question. After hyping up the advantages that Kinect supposedly brings to the Xbox One, he wrote this statement:

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.

That statement would seem to confirm that the Xbox One doesn't really need the Kinect for its core features. While games made specifically for the Xbox One's Kinect hardware, such as the recently delayed Kinect Sports Rivals, won't work without it, the vast majority of Xbox One games can still be played without the sensor. So far, the launch of the Xbox One, which is due in November, won't include any games that will require the Kinect hardware, although that could change between now and the launch date.

This piece of news also might serve to fuel speculation that Microsoft could launch a version of the Xbox One without the Kinect as a way to lower its overall price. So far, Microsoft has denied any plans to offer the console without the sensor.

Source: IGN | Image via Microsoft

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Why do alot of people want the kinect sensor unbundled as standard, its f'ing stupid. by including it the devs can make features specifically for it cus they know everyone has it, whether its plugged in or not makes no difference. Also its the next step in interacting with computing devices, do you see us still using a controller or kb and mouse in 200 years time... hell no.

Also the top of line samsung TV's have built in cameras and thatll get cheaper and cheaper in there TV's as the years go by and new models get released. ive played with it and its fun. use ya hand to control games and stuff and the voice control gets sent by via the microphone in the remote. Guess samsung should chop off the camera because who wants that crap right??

While were at it why bother with new technology at all we obviously dont need it so lets destroy everything and go back to living in caves painting crappy little pictures on walls and why use advanced linguistics lets all go back to grunting and pure body language.

If deeper immersion into something like the kinetic could bring is so crap why do we all spend extra money to see a 3D movie, why bother with 5.1/7.1 surround its all pointless. Based on these things people may as well go live in a hut in the desert for the rest of there lives, cant live in a forest to theres to much immersion there!!!

rant over

I love how everyone is freaking out.

Just because it can still work without the Kinect Sensor, doesn't mean that they'll sell it without it. To keep the value in Kinect, they definitely will keep it bundled... and now they just let people turn it off/unplug it for those that don't want it always-on (i.e. the paranoid freaks lol).

Also... we don't know exactly WHAT exactly works without the sensor. Sure the console may be usable, but to what extent?

Personally I hope it's still required for a lot of things to give more reason for game and app devs to be innovative with the awesome Kinect experience.

Microsoft seems to be changing almost every decision they had taken regarding the Xbone.
That says a lot.

Too bad IGN won't ask them how it will work with Windows Media Center. Will it be an extender, guide controls, or if we need an IR blaster to get it to work. I hope it doesn't require an IR blaster for something so native.

Just take a 360, slap a better video card and some more ram in it, put it in a box, and boom got the new generation. Seems like that's what everyone wants, so why not?

Crisp said,
Nah, my point was it's dated and you need more than just a RAM and GPU upgrade.

2005 says "Bye!".

Dated doesn't mean 'bad'. That CPU with 8+GB of RAM and a relatively recent GPU will still play anything available. Just because something is old doesn't mean it has to be replaced.

Are you serious? That CPU with 8GB RAM and upgraded GPU would be a massive bottleneck. Not to mention the out dated 90 nm instruction set.

With your theory, what's the point in updating the RAM? Just stick 8GB of DDR2 in it... crazy.

If next gen consoles only had 3 core CPU, with only 1-2 dedicated to the games like the Xenon does, you're not going to get very far with innovation.

Dated does mean 'bad', especially when you're developing a system which is designed to last 10 years.

Just realised you were referring to PC hardware, well yeah of course you can play games on an Phenom II X3, but again, it'll be the bottleneck of the system.

Why you would want to run an outdated CPU for the latest modern games would puzzle me.

It's so sad how Microsoft has abandoned everything that was good about the XBONE to cater to a few loudmouths on the internet. Most people wanted the family sharing, 24-hour check-in, always-on Kinect!

virtorio said,
Most people wanted 24-hour check-in? I don't think so.

The only people on the whole of the internet that wanted it that I saw were people on neowin/neowhinge, and they cried when it was removed. Make of that what you will.

virtorio said,
Most people wanted 24-hour check-in? I don't think so.

I would of loved the option to share my games with my closest friends.. it can always be spun to sound bad...

24-hour check in VS game sharing between friends and steam like updating
Kinect Always on VS Voice Activation

everything has a pro and con...

n_K said,

The only people on the whole of the internet that wanted it that I saw were people on neowin/neowhinge, and they cried when it was removed. Make of that what you will.

This place is like the Twilight Zone sometimes.

M_Lyons10 said,

There were some great benefits to that system...

No there weren't. You were getting screwed, you just didn't have the forethought to see it.

You still get your benefits in the DD business model, so buy digitally. What works for DD != what works for physical media.

M_Lyons10 said,

There were some great benefits to that system...

Yes there were, which they should have kept for digital releases (and seems like someone those features will be returning to digital releases), because if you're buying digital releases to begin with you probably don't have the kind of internet problems that made the 24 hour check-in a problem to begin with.

virtorio said,
Most people wanted 24-hour check-in? I don't think so.

Of course not, but the benefits that this invisible mechanism brings is what was wanted. Saying it like that is like saying 'what so people want an uncomfortable, obtrusive belt strapped over them all the time' instead of 'what people want to be safe in case of an accident' in terms of car seat belts, your focusing on the slight negative (in this case your Xbox one checking in silently every 24 hours) and ignoring the big positives.

Think to yourself, when was the last time your internet connection was down for a prolonged period of time? For me the answer is I seriously cant remember if ever, and if it is/was then the last thing on my mind would be 'oh noes I cant play single player offline games' and more 'crap I cant do hardly anything that I usually do because my internet is down, lets go to the pub!'

Seriously, it would have been an invisible checkin and the benefits is what you would have noticed.

To me they aren't saying anything new, they are saying the console will function but that Kinect is still required for the Xbox One experience, same with Internet. My Lumia 1020 will still work without the camera but it would not be able to use many apps or features that come with it.

Microsoft just backpeddled their way back into my TV cabinet.

(Not because I care about "spying", but because I don't want to play any kind of Kinect game and don't want to talk to my TV)

I had Kinect 1.0 for about a year before I started using the voice for movies.. im telling you it is epic for quick pauses for epic movie moments when you don't want someone to miss something.. Way faster then finding the remote..

virtorio said,
Microsoft just backpeddled their way back into my TV cabinet.

(Not because I care about "spying", but because I don't want to play any kind of Kinect game and don't want to talk to my TV)

How is this backpedaling? They previous to this said that the Kinect could be turned off completely. How is that that different from disconnecting it (Which likely could be done as well)?

M_Lyons10 said,

How is this backpedaling? They previous to this said that the Kinect could be turned off completely. How is that that different from disconnecting it (Which likely could be done as well)?

They've perviously said it needed to be plugged in, and now all of a sudden it doesn't.

deadonthefloor said,

Engineers being on record saying it wouldn't POST without it.

source? I've never seen this comment anywhere..

duddit2 said,

source? I've never seen this comment anywhere..

Of course not, it was said in video. Wired perhaps, or gametrailer exlusive videos. One engineer says yes it's needed to POST but you can disable it's functions via software.

Well, I absolutely was worried about spying potential, especially when it's been admitted that everything that communicates is fair game and MS has already been involved. It's just not a big leap. This changes all that, by simply making it optional, it becomes a good product. Now they need to make it fun and/or useful to gain true market appeal. I like the idea of Kinect, I think it has a lot of potential, but I'll be damned if I'm having a camera/mic on all the time in my living room.

very good news, competition its a good thing, now we have to wait for M$ unbundle kinect and equal price to ps4 and we have a deal....

now $ony drop the ps plus requirement for online multiplayer....

eilegz said,
very good news, competition its a good thing, now we have to wait for M$ unbundle kinect and equal price to ps4 and we have a deal....

now $ony drop the ps plus requirement for online multiplayer....

Asinine. lol

Enron said,
I think it's pr€tty $tupid when people use currency symbols to say a ¢ompany is greed¥.

I much prefer "gr€€dy".

But I thought they were in cahoots with the NSA

I hope they don't take it out of the box though - it's better if developers know they can rely on people having the device.

ArthJar said,
Don't wanna sound like a smart-a**, but this was obvious from the beginning.

Really?
Even when the engineers are on video saying the console wouldn't even POST (Power On Self Test) unless Kinect was connected?

I guess I miss even the most obvious.

deadonthefloor said,

Really?
Even when the engineers are on video saying the console wouldn't even POST (Power On Self Test) unless Kinect was connected?

I guess I miss even the most obvious.


You got a source for that? Guess I must have missed it, because I heard that Xbox One required Kinect (so features would work).... not that it was required to POST. I might have missed it however since I had no problem with it anyways.

JHBrown said,
Excellent.

...not exactly. They should offer a version without this rubbish and -200$ price tag if they want to compete with the superior PS4.

Xbox 180 at 299$
PS4 at 399$

But still I'd get PS4 as all the smart Europeans who always prefer the playstation.

PC EliTiST said,

...not exactly. They should offer a version without this rubbish and -200$ price tag if they want to compete with the superior PS4.

Xbox 180 at 299$
PS4 at 399$

But still I'd get PS4 as all the smart Europeans who always prefer the playstation.

The data strongly supports your assertions... or something.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/...i-in-us-sales-by-years-end/

It will be fun to watch XboxOne v PS4 sales. Console Units sold as well as dollars gained by sony/ms. Frankly, if the XboxOne can deliver on it's unifying tv/gaming/etc. interface I think it will work over the PS4. Otherwise it will be a close race like always... why everybody thinks there is a clear winner at any time is beyond me. Most people I know have both anyway.

Then the developer will wonder why their game barely broke 100,000 sales, despite their being 10 million Xbones in the world. Just because people own the Kinect does not mean they'll necessarily purchase Kinect games.

Blackhearted said,
Now all they need to do is drop the kinect from the box so they can price the console properly.

I wish people would stop saying this bull****. Dropping kinect will never happen.
Don't like it? Buy a PS4.

ahhell said,

I wish people would stop saying this bull****. Dropping kinect will never happen.
Don't like it? Buy a PS4.

Actually, with as many 180's as microsoft has done in the past 2 and half months, there's a pretty decent chance of them 180-ing on this too. If not at launch, then shortly after.

Also, it seems like it upsets you that there are people who don't want to have to be forced to waste money on the rehash of this generations biggest failed gimmick.

Blackhearted said,
Now all they need to do is drop the kinect from the box so they can price the console properly.

This is the most short-sighted comment I've seen in a long time...

You can't seriously not see the benefits to the community in having hardware in the hands of gamers that the developers can target and know it will be available... Seriously.

Blackhearted said,

Actually, with as many 180's as microsoft has done in the past 2 and half months, there's a pretty decent chance of them 180-ing on this too. If not at launch, then shortly after.

Also, it seems like it upsets you that there are people who don't want to have to be forced to waste money on the rehash of this generations biggest failed gimmick.

Failed gimmick? Clearly you missed all of the sales (Record breaking for an accessory actually)...

And I shouldn't be surprised that I have to do this, but I'll also explain that this is not a 180. Microsoft's goal was to get the Kinect in the hands of every XBox Owner. THAT is still happening. They have previously stated (Quite clearly) that you can even turn the Kinect off entirely and still use the XBox... That really isn't much different than disconnecting it entirely, so it stands to reason that that was possible as well. Well before this announcement.

ahhell said,

I wish people would stop saying this bull****. Dropping kinect will never happen.
Don't like it? Buy a PS4.

Why do you hate Microsoft so much?

Dropping the mandatory Kinect and lowering the price will open up the market to more buyers and result in more sales. If trends observed in DD sales are universal too, they will probably end up making more money than if they hadn't.

So really, the only conclusion here is that you hate Microsoft and want them to fail.

I'm not surprised to see the usual suspects defending every decision Microsoft makes, and then getting personally insulted when someone wants a choice.

If the Kinect is not required, then why make everyone purchase it? Why not offer a Kinectless bundle that has a price that's more in line with the PS4? Why not offer a Kinectless bundle that has the same MSRP of $499, but with a larger hard drive?

Doesn't Microsoft do that now?

I know the theory that if everyone has a Kinect 2.0, then developers will make better use of it, but it's just that. A theory. There's no guarantee that people will actually keep it on, or even use it if it stays on. I'm interested in seeing what percentage of owners keep the Kinect on or use it six months after launch. Then we can talk.

As for the XBox One's price point, ask Sony how the launch of the Playstation 3 went. The original PS3 base system was $499 compared to the XBox 360's base price of $299. $399 for all of the bells and whistles. I lived in St. Louis during the holiday season of 2006, and it had trouble finding 360s and Wiis, but I would find a PS3 everywhere I went. I mean, there's a reason why people are asking for a cheaper XBox One that doesn't include the Kinect. Calling them whiners, or saying that they are short-sighted only makes you guilty of the things that you accuse others of.

ozzy76 said,
Then the developer will wonder why their game barely broke 100,000 sales, despite their being 10 million Xbones in the world. Just because people own the Kinect does not mean they'll necessarily purchase Kinect games.

May be "normal" games can incorporate Kinect features too? voice commands, military hand gestures to command your crew/teammates, AI director that monitors your mental state, interacting with various menu with your hand/finger on the air etc. Consumers like you have no imagination; you only want "the same new".

ozzy76 said,
Then the developer will wonder why their game barely broke 100,000 sales, despite their being 10 million Xbones in the world. Just because people own the Kinect does not mean they'll necessarily purchase Kinect games.

You haven't heard about the features Dead Rising got added with the Kinect I see. What they did is listening to the sound in the room. If the sound is hard like your talking loud then the game will alert zombies in your area to come after you. I personally like such additions and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Blackhearted said,
Now all they need to do is drop the kinect from the box so they can price the console properly.

I am no Sony fan, but X1 without the Kinect is completely outclassed by PS4 and almost completely worthless product. Kinect is the main reason to buy an X1 instead of PS4 and I'm not solely talking about for games.

CygnusOrion said,
I agree that the Kinect has to survive, thrive or die on its own merits.

Publishers do not support accessories that are optional. If you made the game controller optional it would not thrive on its own merits. Nintendo proved this last Gen with the Wii pro controller.

nvllsvm said,
And Microsoft having no balls is awesome for the consumer.

No it's not.
The consumer is a conservative. He or she only wants the same but "new".

So define "new"? Same but new? That's not new, that the same. Giving more of the same to the consumer? That's just more of the old!

The reason why the Xbox One is expensive is the Kinect 2. Microsoft has spent too much money on stuffing with the Xbox One with specially made Kinect 2 processing hardware and building the architecture for the Kinect.

If Microsoft '180'-ies on the Kinect then the Xbox One has nothing to offer over any other competing device. Kinect is the core promise of their console.

I want games that add Kinect to the experience. Sony has already shot itself in the foot by allegedly deciding to drop the PS4 Eye inclusion after the Xbox One pricing reveal at the pre-E3 conference.

The consumer can only lose with each "180" on the Xbox One.
And no, Microsoft never reversed their stance on indie publishing, the press/blogosphere were just looking for an excuse to write "Microsft 360'd" in the titles.

Coolicer said,

No it's not.
The consumer is a conservative. He or she only wants the same but "new".

So define "new"? Same but new? That's not new, that the same. Giving more of the same to the consumer? That's just more of the old!

The reason why the Xbox One is expensive is the Kinect 2. Microsoft has spent too much money on stuffing with the Xbox One with specially made Kinect 2 processing hardware and building the architecture for the Kinect.

If Microsoft '180'-ies on the Kinect then the Xbox One has nothing to offer over any other competing device. Kinect is the core promise of their console.

I want games that add Kinect to the experience. Sony has already shot itself in the foot by allegedly deciding to drop the PS4 Eye inclusion after the Xbox One pricing reveal at the pre-E3 conference.

The consumer can only lose with each "180" on the Xbox One.
And no, Microsoft never reversed their stance on indie publishing, the press/blogosphere were just looking for an excuse to write "Microsft 360'd" in the titles.

sorry but giving consumer a choice its always a good thing, now they need a cheaper model to compete with the ps4.. and it make sense to unbundled kinect

eilegz said,

sorry but giving consumer a choice its always a good thing, now they need a cheaper model to compete with the ps4.. and it make sense to unbundled kinect

If they did, they might as well just kill the original bundle and write off the large sum they've spent on developing Kinect 2 and all the custom silicon within the console.
Because from what I have been reading, Kinect 2 is more or less is half of the development cost of the Xbox One as well as the BOM.

The whining that is going on the internet is has reached critical mass. And really, only a small part of the whiners genuinely want an Xbox. The rest are either PC-gamers or have a PS4 on pre-order.

eilegz said,
sorry but giving consumer a choice its always a good thing, now they need a cheaper model to compete with the ps4.. and it make sense to unbundled kinect
If there is one thing Apple has proven is that sometimes no choice is better for the consumer. Not that I like seeing myself type that... However, had they offered an iPhone w/o a camera or w/o other sensors to cheapen the original product they may have reached a larger audience. But the unseen would have cheapened the experience.

Much like MS guaranteeing IE/WMP/etc. would be in windows made it so every developer could utilize those assets in their software (IE Control etc.). Apple guaranteed that every piece of software would have access to all of those tools/sensors/assets.

I believe one of the reasons the Kinect software hasn't been used much in games is there is no guarantee that the sensor will be available. Why spend engineering resources on sensor/asset that may not be there. Now, with XboxOne every developer can tip-toe or dive right in to Kinect land because they will know, with certainty every Xbox will have it.

Also, be putting one in each box they can cheapen the overall cost of the Kinect by shear quantity. I'm sure the on the retail cost of the kinect would be much higher than if the include the cost in the cost of every Xbox sold.

I should point out, I have no problem with the XboxOne working w/o the sensor connected. I just don't think they should offere a Kinectless version of the Console.

eilegz said,

sorry but giving consumer a choice its always a good thing, now they need a cheaper model to compete with the ps4.. and it make sense to unbundled kinect

I don't think this is the consumer as a wholes choice.. The Kinect 1.0 is the fastest selling electronic device in history at the time .. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12697975

Consumers spoke loud and clear by buying it and clearing it off shelves.. Just because tech blogs and people that just generally dislike Microsoft/Metro/Balmer get there way does not mean it is better for consumers..

This may of been their plan all along.. by saying that it is required all the time, developers have conceived ideas of how to use it and started making future games based on it..

People can say that they don't want the Kinect.. the PS4 is the top selling electronic device on amazon.ca and the PS eye for 60 dollars extra is like 30th on the list.. so people are buying an extra camera anyways.

You're overeacting about as badly as the gamers you're complaining about.

Realistically, consumers aren't going to want a console that's useless just because their Kinect camera fell/broke or is malfunctioning. There's absolutely no reason at all to have it as a required component for basic usage. Get real.

AWilliams87 said,
Microsoft has no balls, metaphorically speaking.

What does that have to do with anything? They're whole thing is making sure that every XBox owner has a Kinect so that developers can target it and reasonably assume that it will be available... Being able to run the console with the Kinect disconnected has nothing to do with anything, nor is it a reversal... lol

M_Lyons10 said,

What does that have to do with anything? They're whole thing is making sure that every XBox owner has a Kinect so that developers can target it and reasonably assume that it will be available... Being able to run the console with the Kinect disconnected has nothing to do with anything, nor is it a reversal... lol


absolutely, this is not a 180 of any sort, its simply saying that the kinect sensor that you get with the console will not stop your console functioning at a core level (play games and do other stuff that does not require kinect) if it breaks or you choose to disconnect it. Each and every developer can and should still assume its there.

if the games you play do not require kinect and you adamantly refuse to have it plugged in then its your choice, if it breaks and you don't want to get it fixed its your choice, but you will have one as this is crucial to the whole dev's knowing its there mentality.

i say never say never, who knows even the most hardcore gamers may see benefits down the line, all it takes is one imaginative developer to use it in the right way.

And why should they NOT enforce it like that? When you destroy your xbox controller you're not going to assume you still can play games. You assume you need to buy another controller. Same thing should go for kinect. If it's broke: buy a replacement kinect. The whole platform should not need to worry if the kinect is available or not.

Besides: are people really that afraid of trashing a kinect?

wabboo said,
And why should they NOT enforce it like that? When you destroy your xbox controller you're not going to assume you still can play games. You assume you need to buy another controller. Same thing should go for kinect. If it's broke: buy a replacement kinect. The whole platform should not need to worry if the kinect is available or not.

Besides: are people really that afraid of trashing a kinect?


you missed my point, i meant for the people that seemly have issues with kinnect, this will appease them as its now a choice to have it turned on.

devs will still target it and i hope they do so massively, if someone's put it in the drawer or turned it off for whatever reason but then a kick ass game comes out that requires it, hey presto just plug it in or turn it on (or get it fixed) or miss out on the game, simples

nvllsvm said,
And Microsoft having no balls is awesome for the consumer.

It is not awesome for the consumer because a cheaper Kinect-free version means fewer Kinect games/features from publishers and less innovation from developers.

An X1 without a Kinect is also a pretty janky experience since so many of the consoles features now revolve around the Kinect. Everything from controlling your TV/cable box to understanding who is holding which controller is now dependent on the Kinect.