Microsoft has managed the pull another 180 with a requirement change related to Kinect and Xbox One. Xbox One console will be able to function without Kinect sensor plugged in.
Xbox One Chief Platform Architect Marc Whitten revealed this during a Q&A at IGN. Whitten said that “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 used the sensor.”
For privacy conscious consumers, Whitten revealed that you can turn the sensor off in the Xbox One’s system settings.
“When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information,” Whitten said, adding that it’s still in use for IR blasting in this configuration. He added that “entering into a required Kinect experience” with the sensor off will prompt you to enable it before proceeding.