The Kinect 2.0 Doesn't Have to Watch You All The Time
By Zack Wheat on August 13th, 2013 (3 comments)
Good news for everyone who was afraid of their video game console watching them day and night: Marc Whitten, Chief Platform Architect on the Xbox One, today confirmed on IGN that the Kinect peripheral and its viewing habits are completely user-controlled.
Though he states in one response that "the Xbox One is designed to work with Kinect plugged in," as Microsoft has always stated, the Xbox One's revamped and improved Kinect will not be a required at-all-times feature. This official word clarifies another big issue with the console following Microsoft's major backtracking on the issue of DRM and always-online requirements, and continues to make the system's features appear just a bit friendlier. Whitten states that "When [turned off], the sensor is not collecting any information," though in this writer's opinion, we're in a pretty weird place as a people when we have to clarify when our "information" is not being "collected."
If turned off, the Kinect won't turn on of its own accord: upon starting up a Kinect-related game, the console will even do you the courtesy of asking for permission to turn on the sensor. Not bad.
Whitten warns, however, that many of the Xbox One's Super Attractive Features won't be accessible without the Kinect active, such as the ability to turn your Xbox on by saying "Xbox on," and using your hand to move around the user interface, and that pretty neat thing where it detects controllers being used and passed around. For those fearful and paranoid in the wake of PRISM, however, this may be a small price to pay for comfort and privacy.
Zack Wheat is a Staff Writer at 4Player who fights the urge every day to make sweeping statements about video games using as many words as possible. He has an unbridled love for anything Metal Gear or Ace Attorney, a fondness for JRPGs, and an embarrassing affection for J-pop. Follow him on Twitter, because he loves you.
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