Microsoft isn’t holding back on their U-turns to appease those who have harshly criticized them. Yes, because of the many gamers that have expressed their concerns Microsoft is changing their ways. Marc Whitten, Corporate Vice President, stated the following in an interview with IGN
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.
…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.
Considering the recent NSA leak here in the US regarding government spying some gamers were quite worried about such a device and what it meant for your privacy. There’s also no denying that the Kinect sensor is quite powerful and it can even detect your heat beat. Now, it seems that Microsoft is okay with the gamer unplugging the Kinect from the Xbox One, which is quite a reversal from their original always Kinected stance.