Microsoft’s running alterations to the forthcoming Xbox 360 successor continue with news that the next-gen box will have a headset packed in after all and won’t need Kinect attached to run.
Major Nelson himself, Larry Hryb unboxes the Xbox One in this video short from his popular community site, majornelson.com. In the video, you’ll notice a few neat things about the One, including the side-mounted USB port, the new power button… and a headset that’ll be included in both the Day One Edition and the standard pack.
That headset is another alteration to the originally announced pack-in setup for the Xbox One since the console was supposed to use Kinect right out of the box for chat and wasn’t supposed to include a more standard headset. That might have changed because of another development for the One- Kinect is no longer necessary.
Originally (again) the Xbox One needed to have the Kinect 2.0 sensor plugged into it at all times in order to function. Microsoft had worked in voice and gesture navigation and whatnot into every corner of the console it seemed and to even use the console, you needed to have the Kinect jacked in.
This raised all kinds of fears from the practical, like “I can’t use Kinect and/or don’t really wanna use Kinect”, to maybe the even more practical and fears of spying on you while you game. But never fear all of you out there who like to game in your undies (or less), because Kinect can stay nestled right in the box if you like.
True the console will still come packed in with the audio and visual sensor (it’s kind of a big deal to Microsoft remember), but you won’t have to have it set up at all to be able to play games on the Xbox One. Microsoft’s Marc Whitten spoke to website IGN about the newest development and summed it up this way:
“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,”
You’ll also reportedly be able to head into the settings menu and switch the ‘sensor’ off. This allows for IR blasting but “Any functionality that relies on voice, video, gesture or more won’t work” according to Whitten. This might actually be a better solution for those who don’t completely dig the idea of Kinect than keeping the accessory in mothballs, as you’ll be able to switch it on at any time via the same procedure and games that use Kinect 2.0 will actually ask you if you want to switch it on when you play.
Say what you want about all these post-announcement changes, but all the ‘negatives’ that folks were harping on about the Xbox One are falling away like so many Kinects off the top of televisions. Read more about the Xbox One’s indie policy here and the revised connection requirements here.
The Xbox One launches sometime this November.