Kinect and internet no longer required for Xbox One

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Earlier in the year, fans of Microsoft and the Xbox received startling news. Representatives of the Xbox announced that their newest console system, Xbox One, would require internet connection at all times, and Kinect – a camera that follows and deciphers your body movements to play games like a controller – had to be on at all times. This news caused fans and users to wonder about their privacy… would the Kinect sense their every move and pick up private conversations?

That sounds like some crazy government conspiracy, but it was a very serious matter that fans continuously asked questions (and sent some angry tweets to Microsoft) about. Not to mention, Microsoft had made it clear that if the Xbox One could not connect to the Internet at least once a day, then it would shut down features of the Xbox One, like offline single-player gaming.

Most recently, after countless of backlash and fans saying they would not buy the Xbox One, Microsoft changed their policy. Microsoft no longer requires users to have an internet connection at all times, nor will it keep the Kinect on at all times.

Just this week, Xbox went one step further in backpedaling on their policies. Man, talk about not having the pulse of the gaming community! They’re now assuring users that the Kinect can be turned off if people have serious fears about the device collecting information. Microsoft Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten told IGN, “You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings. When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information.”

As a huge fan of Microsoft and its Xbox consoles (I have all three!), I am very happy to see them retracting their original policies. It’s difficult to have Internet connection at all times in the dorm, not to mention playing at least once a day with so much homework and work to do. Now, while I’m glad that they’ve changed their policy, I can’t help but be annoyed that they had these policies in the first place. For the first time ever, I may actually consider being on Team PlayStation.