According to an IGN Interview with Xbox Vice President Marc Whitten, the Xbox One will not require the Kinect 2.0 to be plugged in to the console in order to function like people have feared. The thing is you lose all Kinect-based functions like additional in-game features and control over your console via voice which makes sense. The device, at this time however, still comes packaged with the console at launch so this news is good for those who do not feel safe about "24-hour camera" or perhaps people who fear they would have to shell out extra cash if their sensor were to break.
I'm not sure what Microsoft wants to do with their console now but it's still interesting to see them over-turn everything they've ever said about the XBO. Talk about PR disaster. Still, it's always good to give your customers control over their purchases, especially if it affects their personal space (would Microsoft spy on people for info? Yikes!). The question left to answer is how does this affect the current development of certain titles that offer features greatly impacted by the Kinect. At this time, I'm not sure of many, but at E3, the developers talked of companies that are learning to fully utilize the sensor as the "third joystick."
What does everyone think of these news? I think it's great since it doesn't force something onto people. Of course, I say that with a grain of salt since you still have to buy the Xbox One packaged with Kinect 2.0. Still, the device was one of the coolest things i've seen and the improvements hopefully make it worth while.