Microsoft have confirmed that their Kinect 2.0 is able to be turned off completely when plugged in, and will NOT have to be always connected in order to use the XB1.
Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten says "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."
The machine will also be "self-aware" of its temperature and can adjust its fan speed and power usage accordingly. This, according to the company, should prevent a common problem that plagued the Xbox 360 - the infamous "Red Ring of Death".
In other Xbox news, Microsoft has reduced the international scope of its launch plans - the list of countries to score the XB1 on launch day is now 13 rather than the 21 originally planned.
Still on track to get it are Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Eight European countries are now stuck waiting until 2014 - Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia and the Netherlands.
While there has been many rumors regarding the release date, the strongest one of late suggests an October 21st release - a good month before Black Friday sales and several weeks before the proposed launch of rival XB1.
A few think this may be the reason Sony recently put a block on pre-orders for the machine - to ensure their supply can meet demand. Either way it's expected the date will be announced next week at Gamescom. [Source: Nowgamer]
Season Pass Downloads
Its been revealed that players of the 360 and PS3 will be able to transfer their online progress, unlocks and Season Pass downloads over to next-gen platforms on select games that are set for release on both platforms. "Call of Duty: Ghosts" and "Battlefield 4" are the first confirmed titles to be using the feature. [Source: VideoGamer]