The latest desperate U-turn Microsoft has been forced into in an effort to rescue the Xbox One launch is to rescind its insistence that the console’s camera and microphone be connected at all times for it to work, perhaps in recognition of the fact nobody in their right mind would trust a US company not to turn the entire system over to the NSA as soon as it was launched…

Microsoft bravely tried to put a positive spin on their latest climbdown, with chief platform architect Marc Whitten burying the admission at the end of a long waffle about the power of Kinect and making no mention of just why anyone would want to disable such an amazing feature:

Since Kinect must be plugged in for the Xbox One to function, what happens if your Kinect breaks? Like if it falls off the top of your TV onto a hardwood floor or something? Will the console cease to function?

WHITTEN: Xbox One is designed to work with Kinect plugged in.

It makes gaming better in many ways – from the ability to say “Xbox On” and get right to your personalized homescreen, to the ability to control your TV through voice, Smartglass and more.

Kinect allows you to search for your content, instantly move between games and your personalized dash and more with just your voice.

Kinect helps you pick up and play by automatically knowing which controller you have in your hands.

No more need to interrupt your friends game or navigate through multiple UI screens to sign in and tell the system which controller you are holding.

It will even bind the controller to the console if its currently unbound – no searching for special buttons!

Of course – these are just a few of the system wide benefits of having Kinect. Games use Kinect in a variety of amazing ways from adding voice to control your squad mates to adding lean and other simple controls beyond the controller to full immersive gameplay.

That said, 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.

How “off” can Kinect be when the system is in use?

WHITTEN: You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings. When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information.

Any functionality that relies on voice, video, gesture or more won’t work. We still support using it for IR blasting in this mode.

You can turn the sensor back on at any time through settings, and if you enter into a required Kinect experience (like Kinect Sports Rivals for instance), you’ll get a message asking if you want to turn the sensor back on in order to continue.

Buyers will of course still have no option but to buy the console with Kinect included whether they want it or not.

Particularly in light of recent revelations about the level of spying US secret police engage in and the eagerness with which liberty-loving American industry secretly collaborates with their schemes, the prospect of allowing an always-on, Internet-connected and Microsoft-secured array of cameras and microphones into homes the world over has become an increasingly disquieting prospect for many.

Unfortunately, there are still no assurances as to what information the console’s sensors will collect anyway when they are connected, but at least those willing to risk owning it will have some ability to limit their exposure.

Microsoft’s evident concerns about an overly spectacular failure for the console have now resulted in it conceding everything from region lockouts to second-hand games – although each one seems only to have highlighted just how half-baked their omission was to begin with, and few seem to be convinced by the restoration of “features” which should have been present in the first place.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    05:42 14/08/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    MS is now = MicroSucks

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:47 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    They always have been.

    Avatar of yezeik1
    Comment by yezeik1
    17:00 27/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yep pretty much. I'm not wasting my hard-earned money on this NSA approved spying machine. I'm sticking to my old school consoles.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:29 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's no "Micro"'s "Major" :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:09 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    It always has been since the days of windows 95.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    06:55 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    no~no~no... it has always been... microSCUM !!! And shall always be microSCUM !!!
    The sucking be the foos who drink that coolAid!

    Avatar of Red_Machine
    Comment by Red_Machine
    04:38 14/08/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    In capitalist America, you don't watch TV, TV watches you!

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:27 15/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You corporatist America, capitalism died here(and in most of the world) a long time ago.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Says dick who profits from capitalist anime/manga Railgun. Go watch USSR cartoons from 80s instead or watch cartoons from North Korea.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:21 14/08/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    With Xbox One, you're never truly alone.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:10 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    even without the Xbox1 Big Brother is already a reality.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:04 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    if you're not alone, you won't waste any time playing video games, ALONE, in the basement, you'll be hanging at the mall with the cool kids

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:02 16/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    no cool kids go to the mall, that was like 20 years ago...when my parents were kids....

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:35 15/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    >cool kids


    Comment by Anonymous
    21:31 16/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    >i know of some kids spraying kid with kids but i never found him (or his kids) to be cool
    >i never went to a mall together with said kids spraying kid

    Comment by Anonymous

    Guess what, the same applies to the phone in your pocket or the Laptop you're typing this on: Always connected with cam + mic. Why doesn't anyone give a damn about that?
    Everyone getting into this anti Kinect hype is just a hypocrite. Go throw your laptops and smartphones out of the window or stop bitchin.

    Microsoft officially claimed they only give access to the government after closely reviewing that access is actually warranted from case to case. Believe it or not, but even Microsoft can't just fuck the government. And I don't think they're less credible than any other large company out there. Google is in this as deep as MS is. Just that 25% of US internet traffic goes through google servers...

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:42 14/08/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Sorry, my PC's webcam and microphone aren't an obligatory purchase if I want a new PC which is good because I have no needs for them. On a phone, well, being able to talk is pretty much the point of having a phone, so the mic being required is understandable.

    For me, the main problem here is that they are forcing me to buy a (now confirmed) optional piece of hardware that I do NOT want and will NOT use, making us pay an additional $100 that I could use for something else.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:29 16/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why can't I hit LIKE to this post?

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:08 14/08/2013 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Nice try MS employee

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:27 14/08/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I stick duct tape to my phone's and tablet's front and back facing cameras to avoid being seen, I also cover webcams and unplug mics when I'm using PCs that have these devices, for instance in college, where every monitor has a webcam built in. When I don't have to use my phone I power it off, remove SIM card and wrap both the card and the phone in tin foil.
    I unplug consoles and TVs when I don't use them and I unplug my modem when I don't need internet.

    Everyone laughs at me for doing that, but we'll see who's gonna have the last laugh.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:29 16/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't feel alone anymore. And I know there are many who do it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:01 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    "Microsoft officially claimed they only give access to the government after closely reviewing that access is actually warranted from case to case."

    You're kidding right? You think secret FISA courts allow any company to question their judgement?

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:10 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.3)

    And fuck you too, asshole.

    Your tired argument using laptops and phones has already been debunked plenty of times.

    I pray to God for your own sake that you're trying to spread that here because you're paid to be Microsoft's shill. If not, then I only pity you much more for posting that incredibly stupid shit. Get the fuck outta here.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:56 14/08/2013 # ! Drivel (-0.8)

    lol nope I'm not payed by MS and I actually couldn't care less about the new console generation for now cause I got a 2k$ gaming rig.

    I'm doing this to troll people like you and looking at all those hate comments I'm pretty successful at that ;p

    Trolling fanboys and haters is pretty fun, you should try that. You must not be emotional about the topic though, which might be hard for some people when they're worshipping their favored console like some god.

    Big companies are all criminals btw, none of them deserve being defended by us whom they exploit whenever they can. (Unless you want to troll people ofc)

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:08 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    A company as big as google or microsoft actually can fuck with the government, all night long. They got the money to pay them like ... well .. you know.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:27 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    All of my computers (cellphone included) run Linux. So, no, they don't transmit anything I didn't explicitly specify. You can inspect the code yourself if you don't want to take my word for it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:04 15/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yah the total current 'Phone Transmission System' has to be scrapped and re done to again it goes back to the perosn who made the call and the person they are calling not jiff jack joe john, all of china, all of korea, all of nsa, all of the pedifile in prison, before the call reaches its intended destination. Scrape all phone companys time to build a new 'single wire' phone service.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:03 20/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because is you home where the device is keep, no your rutinary life like going to work and so...i guess that somme plp find this a natural thing but not me >.>

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:28 18/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because with the PC it's not obligatory plus the PC can be changed to remove these things.

    Microsoft is making it mandatory to spy on it's costumers.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:59 15/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    The NSA has been snooping on Americans since the 90s. Key words are those who plan to kill high ranking people and terrorism.

    But lately, they've been going after people selling drugs... and how long before they go after people doing anything?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:18 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    You didn't read/watch news, do you?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:47 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...And your point is? Just because everything else spies on you doesn't mean you have to go buy another thing that's blatantly spying on everything you do.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:49 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fucking ignorant sheep retard asshole.

    Go trust your shitty US corps, I wait the day you end up in triuble, maybe, jail, and who knoes, maybe for an injustice.

    You ignorant faggot are hilarious pathetic. If ot for snowden, retards like you would still belive shitty corps and goverment when claming they arer not spying you, and labeling us that know better lunatics or paranoic.

    But the truth is here with PRISM, and still brainwashed retards like you belice in MS and fucking US gov?

    Infinite face palms. Despite the revelations and irrefutableevidence the corps involved and even the US have had the nerve to say and officially respond to other govs they do not engage on any spying!! JESUS CHRIST, and retards like you eat all that crap.

    PLEASE DIE, seriously, its because of people like you that us intelligent individual aee getting screwed up.

    Theres nothing worst that idiots like you

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:16 01/08/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Says the man with grammar and spelling mistakes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:43 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't have a laptop. Even if I did, it's not connected to the internet. My PC don't have a webcam or mic. My smartphone is not connected to the internet. Your argument is invalid.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:53 14/08/2013 # ! Drivel (-0.8)

    You, sir, sound like all the people i know putting duct tape on their laptop webcam. CONSPIRACY§

    Avatar of Octopi
    Comment by Octopi
    10:55 14/08/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    ok this definitely convinces me of not getting a new xbox. i will miss DOA, but it's worth it id i keep Big Brother out of the House.

    What intrigues me is that will all this spying, and yet the Boston attacks went through flawlessly without anyone capable of stopping them...

    21:08 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Blanket security never works.

    Back in WWII when the allies were able to perform what would be called terrorist attacks today in what was an absolute police and surveillance state in Nazi Germany.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:54 15/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Tit for tat. If Arabs got good at bombing Western cities, you'd see your Westerner redefining terrorism again.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:27 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    This might sound like conspiracy theory, but maybe the attack was done by the government themselves?

    The attack benefits the government the most after all, it can strengthen what Obama said before, that privacy should be exchanged for security..

    With the "security at stakes" some people will be willing to sacrifice their own privacy, which will be the biggest mistake ever.

    Giving right to some stranger to monitor, and control(they are the government, they do have the power to do so) your own life is just stupid.

    Avatar of ジェフリー
    Comment by ジェフリー
    05:25 14/08/2013 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    That picture is fucking priceless. Where was it originally posted?

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:21 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    The worst part is that they will screw up the X360 with a system update, and no one will sue Microsoft. Just like Apple has been doing for over a decade with their devices.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:55 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Too bad everyone does that. Marketing at its finest.

    Avatar of ChipPanDanChan
    Comment by ChipPanDanChan
    18:15 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:22 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    The 'chan we don't talk about.

    Avatar of 19th
    Comment by 19th
    05:45 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    The /v/ board of 4chan.

    Don't mention that elsewhere but this comment section though unless you want the internet to erupt into "NO REDDIT DID IT FIRST/ NO 4CHAN DID IT FIRST" arguments.

    Avatar of Erranty
    Comment by Erranty
    15:38 14/08/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I'm a little surprised people didn't react this way to GoogleGlass after seeing Google's name on the NSA documents Ed Snowden released.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:37 14/08/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    The extension of these privacy violation really surprise me.

    US government really do want to keep their people under surveillance, and I afraid that will end the real democracy. Because when the government know exactly who opposing them via the spying, the opposing group will be caught immediately..

    And don't forget the government are people, they can be a good, or a bad people. In situation the government are the bad one, and the opposing are good, the bad government will remain strong, and the citizen will be left in dark as the good opposing group is caught even before they have time to spread the truth to the masses..

    The surveillance program going on is equal to death of democracy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:14 16/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    They did, just look up googleglass backlash.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:26 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Google is probably worst than MS, they work hand and hand with the US Gov.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:51 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Name one company that won't roll over when the US government pressures them, I dare you.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:12 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The Umbrella Corporation. Atlas. Hyperion. Torgue. Tediore. Maliwan. WikiLeaks (I think...). Any more? Oh yeah! Aparture Science!

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:21 14/08/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah, Chris, you're finally here.
    I've been waiting.

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