Friday Flame Wars: Xbox One Doesn’t Need Kinect, Do You Care?
Trying to keep track of Microsoft’s stampede of Xbox One backtracking is becoming less like journalism and more like a spectator sport. It’s also a matter of patience. Every time the company makes a defiant statement defending an aspect of the console’s design that consumers clearly don’t want, just wait — it’s only a matter of time before the good folks in Redmond do a brisk 180.
It happened this week with the Xbox One’s new Kinect camera, which raised all sorts of privacy concerns when the console was first unveiled. Since then, people have been asking: “Will the console work without the Kinect? Do I have to buy it if I don’t want it?” “No,” and “yes,” said Microsoft, stubbornly. As recently as July 24, the company released a statement insisting that all Xbox One customers would be getting a Kinect, whether they liked it or not.
That may still be the case, but as of this week, customers won’t have to actually plug their Kinects in. In a statement made to Game Front, Microsoft reluctantly admitted that the Xbox One will still work even if the Kinect isn’t connected. They claim to have “revised their approach,” which is a nice bit of the kind of marketing double-speak that Microsoft has been deploying by the bushel since the console was first unveiled. The statement also points out that “you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor,” while the Kinect isn’t plugged in — tantamount to saying “electronic devices that aren’t connected to a power source won’t work.” Thanks for pointing that out, guys.
Snark aside, Microsoft’s about-face on the Kinect is still heartening news. But how heartening, exactly? In the spirit of Friday Flame Wars, we ask: does it change you opinion about whether or not you’ll buy an Xbox One when they go on sale? Have it out in the comments.