During the Xbox One reveal last week Microsoft said the Xbox One would go into a low-power state when turned off, letting users use voice commands to wake it up. But now it seems users will also have the chance to completely shut down the Xbox One and its Kinect sensor.
A Microsoft representative speaking to Kotaku said the company will let users completely shut down their console instead of putting it in a low-power state. The mode will also turn off the Xbox One Kinect sensor, turning off its ability to constantly listen to the room in case a person issues a voice control to turn it on.
An option to completely shut down the Xbox One and its new Kinect may alleviate some of the privacy concerns some have with the new console. Some, including officials in the German government were concerned that Kinect will always watch, listen and record everything in a room with its camera and microphone.
The Kinect on the Xbox One is still a requirement for the console, as the Xbox one won’t turn on without the Kinect sensor attached. When powered on the sensor will still watch and listen to the user, like the Kinect for Xbox 360 does. The features of the sensor, including night-vision, head tracking and heartrate monitoring may concern some users, but at least they’ll know when it is and isn’t recording.
Microsoft wants users to know they are aware of potential privacy concerns. The Microsoft representative said:
We know our customers want and expect strong privacy protections to be built into our products, devices and services, and for companies to be responsible stewards of their data. Microsoft has more than ten years of experience making privacy a top priority. Kinect for Xbox 360 was designed and built with strong privacy protections in place and the new Kinect will continue this commitment. We’ll share more details later.
Given the tone of the presentation, Microsoft would likely prefer that gamers didn’t completely shut down the console, instead opting for the low-power state. It’s not a requirement, however.
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