updated 10:42 pm EDT, Mon August 12, 2013
Kinect still bundled with console at launch, but can be disconnected
The Xbox One has seen some significant changes since its unveiling. The latest modification today, promulgated by Microsoft, reveals that while the device ships with the Kinect, the device is no longer required for the next-generation Xbox to function. Chief product officer Marc Whitten said in an interview today that "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," similar to the Kinect's functionality on the Xbox 360 now.
In an interview with IGN, Whitten clarified the "always on" nature of the Kinect sensor, which drew some concern when revealed in May. "You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings. When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information."
The revelation is the latest in a series of revisions to the console's capability since its debut. Microsoft has since walked back the "always online" requirement for an Internet connection, but in the process has also eradicated some next-generation game loading and licensing programs. The Xbox One GPU has also seen a clock speed boost from 800MHz to 853Mhz.
Additionally, it has been revealed that any Xbox One console can be used in lieu of an expensive developer's console. The so far poorly defined move eliminates the need for a multi-thousand dollar revision of the console, and makes independent development possible.