Technically, the Kinect 2.0 is no longer necessary for basic Xbox One functionality. You can now – according to Marc Whitten – unplug Kinect 2.0 from your Xbox One or turn it off or whatever, and the console will be 100% a-okay. You don't have to be a victim of PRISM to use your XB1.
According to a Q&A conducted on IGN, chief platform architect Marc Whitten spoke candidly and honestly about some of the Xbox One features and a few of the things that the engineers apparently had to alter on the 12th hour before the system's full production run, noting...
“Games use Kinect in a variety of amazing ways from adding voice to control your squad mates to adding lean and other simple controls beyond the controller to full immersive gameplay. 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.”
Whitten also further explains about some of the security concerns surrounding the Xbox One's Kinect 2.0, in which many people felt that their privacy was at risk not just because it was a camera with a microphone but because Microsoft sold out public trust when they were found out to be part of the NSA's PRISM program. No one in their right mind should be willing to hand over their own sensitive privacy rights to a company that so easily and willingly allowed others to have access to that data on a moment's whim.
Anyway, due to a lot of backlash from government authorities, security experts and community and social directors from other countries – none of the people you voted into office here in the United States stuck up for your privacy rights, so that should tell you something right there – who really felt that Microsoft should address the privacy concerns around Kinect 2.0 actually got their way. Whitten firmly explains that...
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.
Well that's good news. It really does feel like after Don Mattrick was given the boot, the Xbox brand turned from an investor's anti-consumer wet dream that came right out of a Nazi think tank and evolved into a halfway decent concept for a potentially okay gaming console.
All the 180 reversals really have stacked up for MS, though. What is this, number three? Number four? That conspiracy theory about reversing policies enough times so that it becomes the Xbox 720 could actually turn out to be true.
Anyway, I'll probably never own an Xbox One unless they can prove without a shadow of a doubt that they don't have plans to take their newly presented unicorn and rip off the horn and shove it up their own customer's cornhole for giggles and profit, but at least they appear to be on the right track to winning back over the community they alienated the way Michael Jackson turned his back on normal people after he went full wacko-jacko just before he died.