Xbox One's first privacy accessory is not worth it
I think most gamers can agree that Microsoft had a bad start when the company first introduced the upcoming Xbox One console to the general public. I'm still amazed that a large company can make that many blatant errors and miscalculations when it comes to a billion Dollar product.
From mandatory online checks and the stance on used games and game lending to an always-on Kinect accessory that ships with every console. After much outrage on the Internet, Microsoft rescinded those features to return to the status quo of this console generation and to level the playing field with Sony's Playstation 4.
The damage was done though and if you look around on the Internet these days, you will still find examples where incorrect information are used by end-users and journalists alike.
Especially the always-on requirement for the Kinect accessory seems to have stuck in the minds of the press, as you find reference being made to it regularly.
If you have browsed the Internet today, you may have stumbled upon news about a new privacy accessory for the Xbox One that has been created by PDP.
It is a TV mount for the Kinect accessory that you can attach to flat panel TVs to mount the Kinect on top of the TV. What makes this a privacy accessory is the option to hide both Kinect cameras using a cover that the accessory ships with.
It is available for pre-order for $19.99 on Amazon. It is probably a good buy if you are looking for a TV mount for your Kinect, but not really worth it if you are only looking to disable the Kinect unit or the cameras it comes with.
The reason for this is that Microsoft confirmed recently that you do not need Kinect turned on to play games on the Xbox One (that can be played with a controller). While you will lose functionality like the option to control the Xbox One via voice, it won't prevent you from playing regular games.
If you have watched an Xbox One unboxing videos that are available, you may have noticed that the Kinect unit needs to be connected via cable to the Xbox One unit.
If you do not connect the Kinect unit at all, it won't work for obvious reasons. Your second alternative to that are options that Microsoft has integrated into the Xbox One preferences to turn Kinect off completely.
Microsoft confirmed that this is the case in a recent AMA on Reddit.
That said, like online, the console will still function if Kinect isnâ€™t plugged in, although you wonâ€™t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor.
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 wonâ€™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), youâ€™ll get a message asking if you want to turn the sensor back on in order to continue.
If you need a new TV mount for your Kinect, then go ahead and buy this one or a comparable one that you like better. But do not make the error and buy the mount just for the Kinect cover it ships with, as it is less efficient than disconnecting Kinect completely or turning it off in the options of the console.Advertisement