Although Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox One will not work without the Kinect 2.0 sensor attached
, the company says that it is not mandatory for developers to integrate Kinect functionality into their games.
In a Q&A section on the Xbox website
, Microsoft says that the Kinect "is now an essential and integrated part of the platform." This, coupled with the fact that you must have a Kinect plugged into your Xbox One for it to function, has led to worries that Microsoft is forcing all Xbox One developers to utilize the Kinect in some form.
However, talking to Eurogamer, Microsoft's corporate vice president Phil Harrison explained that
Kinect functionality is not compulsory -- although he hopes that most studios will take advantage of it.
"The fact that it's in every single box, that it comes with the console, the fact that every single home will have the console and the Kinect, allows game developers and game designers to really maximise the creative and technical possibilities," he explained.
"Whether it's something as simple as a voice command or whether it's a more sophisticated gesture, is up to the designers to how they want to unlock that."
When pushed for additional comment regarding why Xbox One users should be excited about Kinect this time around, he reiterated, "Game designers don't have to use the motion-sensing capability of Kinect to add magic to a game."
"It could be just as simple as a voice command, or it could be just as simple as knowing there's more than one person in the room at the same time, and being able to automatically populate options and user interface - knowing there are two people playing or three people playing," he added.
Games will not have to make sure of Kinect at all if the developer so chooses, he repeated.