Microsoft has had a hard time clearing up the initial confusion about the features of its Xbox One system. Features that have been misrepresented, misunderstood and basically fumbled by Microsoft since the system's debut at E3 2013.
Now it's gotten so strange that Microsoft is accidentally unveiling what many would consider positive features of the system. During an "Ask Microsoft Anything" liveblog hosted by IGN Chief Xbox One Platform Architect, Marc Whitten, was asked what would happen to the Xbox One if the Kinect 2 sensor was to break. After playing up the importance of the Kinect, he finished off his answer by saying: "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."
What? We were initially told that the integrated system was not only going to be always on but that the sensor was imperative to the console's use and it would not function without it. A follow-up question asked if the Kinect could be turned completely off, Whitten explained:
"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."
As it stands the Kinect seems to be as necessary to play games as it currently is on the Xbox 360, being not very much. This feels like another reversal by Microsoft, although it's clear this system architecture wasn’t thrown in at the last minute. As of now, we'll still be forced to buy the Kinect sensor even though the advantages of which are still hazy.
What do you think? If Microsoft dropped the Kinect 2 and lowered the price would you be more likely to get the Xbox One?