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Post by Dan @ 11:19am 20/06/13 | 13 Comments
Following Microsoft's surprise about face on the Internet connection requirements, and disc-based game restrictions for the upcoming Xbox One, the company has confirmed that the device's other widely criticised aspects -- the launch price point, and the need for the Kinect motion control sensor to be plugged in at all times-- remain unchanged.

Speaking to Joystiq, Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten maintained commitment to the announced US$499 price point, saying "We feel good about our price.", and believing in the value of "what this architecture can deliver over the long term".

The Kinect sensor is widely attributed to the pricing gap between the Xbox One and Sony's also recently priced PlayStation 4, but microsoft is standing firm on ensuring each console ships with the motion-controller/camera/microphone peripheral, and also that it must still be plugged in at all times for the console to operate.
"We still absolutely believe in Kinect. It's a core part of the architecture. Frankly, it's really critical that you build it as something that's always there, always part of the platform. So that game creators, experience creators can know they can rely on it. And you, the user, that there's always a consistent experience. That it's not just an accessory."
The Xbox One console is due in November 2013, in 21 markets including Australia, North America, and Europe, for AUD$599, USD$499, GBP£429, and EUR€499

xbox onexboxmicrosoftdrm

Latest Comments
Posted 11:36am 20/6/13
My main concern is with how kinect is used outside my game, while in the menu, while the console is "off", etc. Is it going to be collecting statistics (personal or anonymous), can it be used by law enforcement, etc. In the day of creepy contextual ads in your email / forums, etc ... it's not that far-fetched.

Originally MS said the microphone will always be on, even when the console is off, to allow you to voice-activate it to turn on. Then later they said you'll be able to fully turn off the console (including microphone). However the details of this have not been provided (I assume they haven't work it out), and it's not clear whether you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to achieve this - i.e. to the point where most people will stop bothering with the hassle, etc.
Posted 12:04pm 20/6/13
You've been reading too much Emmanuel Goldstein parabol.
There's no way to turn off the telescreens & we've always been at war with Eastasia.
Posted 12:49pm 20/6/13
The thing is, they have said you can 'turn it off', if that is the case, then why is the Kinect required to be plugged in for the console to function? That doesn't make sense at all. Just like GPS on mobile phones, it can be turned off, but any App can activate the GPS and send data to anyone anywhere, without it ever even showing up on the phone.
Posted 03:06pm 20/6/13
You can always turn it off at the wall..
Posted 03:34pm 20/6/13
I wonder how many people unplug their web cams, or put some blu-tac over their smartphone cameras when not in use?
Posted 04:58pm 20/6/13
But I don't want bloody Kinect. I have absolutely no need for a camera or voice activation...

(About time I actually logged in, after lurking for like, six years...)
Posted 07:07pm 20/6/13
I do try to stop myself from getting sucked into paranoid theories about s*** but this just seems so frigging suss to me. Am i really that paranoid is there actually even the slightest reason to be a little iffy about this bulls***?
Posted 07:20pm 20/6/13
I wonder how many people unplug their web cams, or put some blu-tac over their smartphone cameras when not in use?

I have sticky tape over my laptop's webcam
Posted 08:08pm 20/6/13
I look at the Kinect on the xbone one not as a peripheral but as part of the console, I'm still iffy on the privacy thing though.
Posted 10:24pm 20/6/13
As long as it's required, I'm out.
Posted 02:12pm 21/6/13
I'm a little curious about all this sudden concern for privacy since the announcement of Kinect One, especially knowing that laptops, tablets and phones have had cameras and microphones for plenty of years. Since Windows are installed on the majority of laptops owned in the world, does that mean Microsoft have been spying on us all this time?

If you cover your webcam with a postage note or blutack, do you also cover the microphone or, even more extreme, uninstall the drivers when you're not using it? How do you know that Microsoft are not recording your every keystroke? I haven't even touched on instant messaging services (Yahoo Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.), social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), video and voice services like Skype (owned by Microsoft) and telcos. I'm certain all those services store your data somewhere. What about these new Samsun SmartTVs that have built in webcams and microphones and ceature the same video and audio features as Xbox One, but have been on the market for more than a year? Has this paranoia been spurred by the recent PRISM controversy?

Removing the conspiracy theories, I can see mandatory use of the Kinect One as avoiding the fragmentation of the user base and allowing developers to confidently program Kinect features (a key differentiating feature of the Xbox One) in to their games and knowing every Xbox One user will have the hardware to use it.

I'm not trying to start a war of words; just trying to see a rational view of this issue above what seems, to me, is some paranoid overreaction.
Posted 03:58pm 21/6/13
Being made to use something many people dont give a rats ass about is bound to piss someone people off its really that simple.Also expecting people to just deal with it with out giving any reasonable explanation (not that i have seen one) is bound to have people speculating as to why, and i dont blame them.
Posted 04:41pm 21/6/13
Since Windows are installed on the majority of laptops owned in the world, does that mean Microsoft have been spying on us all this time?

1. Microsoft designed both the OS and the hardware for the xbox, and they have complete control over what's installed on the system, how it is used, and what information is passed back and forth. You can't disable anything unless it's allowed with their simple UI. You will probably not know what's happening behind the scenes as it's a completely closed system controlled by one entity (MS) bent on making as much money out of you through the unit.

2. Microsoft didn't make laptops, only Windows which takes the role of a general-purpose OS. The user still has a high level of control over what's installed, what drivers are installed or disabled, etc. You can sniff around with ease to see if something dodgy is happening behind the scenes.

So a bit of a difference, and hence your analogy doesn't really hold.
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