Microsoft announced on Monday the Xbox One will no longer require the Kinect to function. This is another reversal of policy from Microsoft when it comes to its new Xbox, from what it previously detailed at the Xbox One launch event in May.

While the Xbox One will still ship with the Kinect, you don't have to plug it in at all. Microsoft once said you needed it for the Xbox One to turn on - now that's not the case.

Speaking to IGN, Marc Whitten, corporate vice-president for Xbox LIVE, explained: "That said, like online, 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."

Microsoft senior exec Albert Penello, posting on NeoGAF, said the change was for the benefit of customers. "The thing we all understood, and hence this change, is that there are some scenarios where people just may not be comfortable," he said. "We wanted people to be 100 per cent comfortable, so we allow the sensor to be unplugged."

This reversal follows Microsoft the decision in June to reverse course on DRM policies for the Xbox One, dropping its 24-hour Internet check-in requirement and restrictions on used games.

Microsoft plans to launch the Xbox One later this year, starting at $500. Check out Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb unboxing the console and a close look at the Xbox One controller.