We got a great comment from a fan the other day to our blog post about Microsoft's huge Xbox One reveal. Here is the comment from "Anti-Pol" (can't lie, we love the name).
Couple thoughts. Overwhelmingly the press and social media have crush MSFT about Xbox One. Some due to the concerns you mentioned, as well as, the Kinect 2.0 always watching you at home. It also listens mind you and can see in the dark. What are your thoughts on the negative vibe around the X1? Also, would you choose PS4 or X1 if you could only pick one?"
Honestly, I've never before seen such an aggressive overreaction to speculation in all my days. Truthfully, I do have a few concerns about the next gen Microsoft console, however, concerns about an "always on" Kinect sit low on my list. Some of my larger concerns are how is Microsoft going to treat the next stage of Xbox Live, in particular, what will it cost? Will they finally act on their threat to add additional costs to those of us purchasing used games and limit our online experience if we don't fork over the cash? Not to mention having to come to grips with the whole backwards compatibility issues.
However, for now most, if not all, of these concerns are mere speculation and we really won't know more until we get a more detailed reveal at E3. While these questions due raise my heart rate a bit in anticipation, I don't feel it's anything that would be a major deal breaker for X1 sales.
As I sat there listening to the new found silence that filled the room which was once dominated by an incessant hum of electricity and power, I knew in that moment, that machines would never make a slave of me again. That I would never fear anything that ever threatened to be "always on", because I now knew what few seem to know, it's vital weakness, the AC adapter.
But I digress, the short answer is, if you are really concerned, the Kinect and it's sensors can be turned off. This can be done in the settings menu of your console. If you are still concerned that this will not work, you can always unplug the AC adapter and USB. I can almost guarantee that it will be off at that point. However, for those who are uber paranoid, you can place a piece of electrical tape over the camera, then place the Kinect into an air tight bag, wrap it in duct tape, lock it in a trunk, bury that trunk in the sand, and there it will remain, waiting to strike, until the dice read 5 or 8.
Here is a recent quote from Microsoft Vice President, Phil Harrison about privacy concerns,
Microsoft has very, very good policies around privacy. We’re a leader in the world of privacy, I think you’ll find. We take it very seriously. We aren’t using Kinect to snoop on anybody at all. We listen for the word ‘Xbox on’ and then switch on the machine, but we don’t transmit personal data in any way, shape or form that could be personally identifiable to you, unless you explicitly opt into that.
You can also check out Kinect's Privacy and Online Safety FAQ's here.
In short, I'm not too concerned because nothing is ever "Aways On. Always Connected" unless we choose it to be. So rest easy that the X1 won't be watching you in the night against your will...unless you're into that...like Dre.
As for your final question, if I could only choose one between the PS4 and the X1. To me that answer is easy. Despite having to pay for online play, Xbox wins for me hands down. The number 1 reason why is a little thing called Halo. And now with the X1 coming with a Bluray drive, exclusive content with the NFL, simultaneous multi-application capabilities and more, I just don't think God of War is all that good.
So I hope this answers all your questions "Anti-Pol", and again, thanks for the amazing comment. It gave us a lot to ponder, and I think it brings some great points to light that can hopefully spark some interesting debate.
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