One of the many, many, issues that potential Xbox One customers have brought up since the next-gen console was revealed last week, is the fact that the new Kinect camera seems to have the ability to spy on how exactly how much Mountain Dew and Doritos we consume and report that information back to Microsoft’s marketing department. In an attempt to ease privacy fears, Microsoft has issued one of their famous non-clarifying “clarification” statements, revealing that the Xbox One can be turned off… when the system is completely powered down.
Speaking to Kotaku, a Microsoft representative stated:
“It [the new Xbox One Kinect] is not always watching or always listening. Yes, you can turn the system completely off. This would use no power and turn everything off. We’ll share more details about how it all works later.”
Basically this clears up nothing. We all pretty much assumed that if you shut the power down on the Xbox One (or unplug it from the wall) that Kinect would be unable to function. The bigger question here is if there is a way to completely shut off Kinect — that way we know for sure that the camera is not calling MS to tell them we have too many people in our living room watching Arrested Development season 4 — and still use the Xbox One console.
Aside from those very valid privacy issues, there is still the fact that a significant number of consumers are not at all interested in yelling commands at our video game consoles, or stupidly waving our hands around in the air, when we could more easily accomplish the same task by pressing a button. This group of right thinking individuals just want to know if we can get away with plugging the Kinect into the Xbox One and then stuffing it in a drawer so that the bulky camera is out of sight and out of mind.
Sadly, and unsurprisingly, Microsoft has not yet provided any answers to that aspect of the Xbox One console.