Xbox One's first privacy accessory is not worth it - gHacks Tech News

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 After much outrage on the Internet, Microsoft rescinded those features to return to the status quo of this console generation and to level the playing field with Sony's Playstation 4.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.

kinect privacy tv mount

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 isn’t plugged in, although you won’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 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.

Closing Words

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.

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Comments

  1. Mark said on October 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm
    Reply

    Actually; after the day one update, the kinect will no longer be required to be plugged in. If you had taken a bit more time to do some research, you might have known this

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm
      Reply

      Did you read the full article? You may have missed this:

      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)

      Or this

      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.

      Or this

      You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings.

  2. Anonymous said on October 28, 2013 at 6:04 pm
    Reply

    You b**th about Microsoft and Privacy, but not Google. STFU

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 28, 2013 at 6:04 pm
      Reply
    2. JohnMWhite said on October 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm
      Reply

      Fanboys? Really?

      Anyway, a useful recap of what the story is with the XBox One, and a handy warning to not waste money solely to block the cameras that can be turned off. Unless, of course, one is particularly paranoid and suspicious of ‘off’ meaning ‘off’. Even then, surely just unplugging the Kinect would be enough.

      1. anon said on October 28, 2013 at 10:44 pm
        Reply

        Yes, buy the weaker hardware for $100 more for the thing you’ll unplug on day one (which will collect data from you, just not for advertising*)

        *user opt-out

  3. Gonzo said on October 28, 2013 at 9:56 pm
    Reply

    -What’s to stop MS from changing their policy next year after the bulk of sales have been made? -Given the companies stance and history do you believe it will?
    -Is it worth it?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm
      Reply

      I doubt they would do that, as they are in for the long run. They would seriously deceive their customer base if they would do so.

  4. guest said on October 28, 2013 at 10:31 pm
    Reply

    I want the voice functionality and not having the camera always staring into my living room. I want to say “Xbox on” and have it turn on without it recording me playing 2k in my skivvies.

  5. XenoSilvano said on October 29, 2013 at 1:54 am
    Reply

    Gamers around the world have their opinions very clear, ‘NO!NSA’.
    We don’t want you spy machines in our homes.

    1. ILLGotti said on January 31, 2014 at 3:25 am
      Reply

      At least I’m not the only one that knows what is really going on here..

      Cheers!

  6. Carmelo H. Mack said on October 30, 2013 at 6:33 pm
    Reply

    Using VESA spec standards and built from sturdy metal and plastic construction, its unique design allows the Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor to be securely mounted to virtually any HDTV while keeping the mount hidden from view. A quick and simple installation to your HDTV and you are ready for the Kinect experience. This Official Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect TV mount is the only kinect mount inspected and approved by Microsoft.

  7. ILLGotti said on January 31, 2014 at 3:24 am
    Reply

    I think one of the major issues I have with Microsoft and Xbox ONE is that they even CONSIDERED making the xbox a corporate spy device. In my opinion, it DOES NOT matter whether they changed the horribly invasive features or not. They TRIED!! This speaks volumes about the mentality and position this company takes on privacy. Its already been leaked that Microsoft works hand in hand with dubious government agencies, and DO NOT care about you or your privacy. Sure, for now Microsoft is going to make the changes… not because they wanted to, but because they HAD to.

    SO my real questions are…

    How many more Xboxs is it going to take before they can get away with making us have some kind of crazy TSA type scanner in our living rooms?

    Why are people so gullible and unwilling to see the bigger picture here?

    Xbox is a joke. You pay out the ass so you can sit around on your fat ass experiencing a virtual life. Oh, and they are going to spy on you too, it not enough that you have paid for your own decline, you get to pay for your monitoring device as well!!! You might as well be paying the government to spy on you… Oh, that right.. That’s exactly what your doing. Its retarded and completely naïve to believe that you need a video game to be that invasive. So have fun sitting in your self financed low security prison, being monitored by a faceless entity. What a brilliant society we live in. o.O

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