Microsoft Reverses XBox One Kinect Always On Feature; Console to Function Normally Without

Microsoft announced the Xbox One will now be able to function without the Kinect motion sensor being turned on at all times, which is a reversal of earlier functions for the console.

"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 Xbox One platform architect Marc Whitten to IGN.

Microsoft, like much of their original announced features for the Xbox One, reversed or changed many of their policies after receiving huge amounts of criticism and backlash from gamers all over.

Some of the major gripes were with the Kinect's importance as a functioning component for the Xbox One. It appeared the console would be useless and unable to function without it. Another problem people had was that the Kinect was always on and not able to be turned off. This was an alarm for security and privacy concerns.

"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," said Whitten.

The Guardian suggests Microsoft may be on the verge of offering a cheaper $100 less version of the Xbox One without the Kinect. However, the company feels strongly about their system as a package.

"We still believe in Kinect. The more demos I've seen, the more I've used it – the more impressed I am. The team feels strongly about Kinect, and I hope we're able to prove that when you use it," said Microsoft spokesman Albert Penello. "We wanted people to be 100% comfortable, so we allow the sensor to be unplugged."

Aside from motion gameplay, the Kinect will focus on Skype chats, and other voice and movement command type apps.