When it revealed its powerful upcoming game console the Xbox One, Microsoft stated that the similarly powerful, updated Kinect device had to be plugged into it at all times. The Kinect was the vehicle for much of the One's interactive cleverness, including the gesture controls and (slightly creepy) voice controls for TV. That requirement apparently annoyed enough potential users that MS has now recanted its demand, according to Kotaku, and says that the One will work even without a Kinect plugged in.
You'll also be able to totally turn off the audio and gesture sensors of the Kinect via a settings control on the One.
Microsoft has faced a number of angry backlashes about its unreleased console, including consumer irritation that the device would be region-locked for games and regularly "phone home" to Microsoft--otherwise the device would bar game playing. Microsoft has backtracked on both of those plans in recent months, but not before Sony used these restrictive policies to contrast the openness of its rival upcoming PlayStation 4 console.
[Image via Microsoft]