Okay--you've obviously drunk the MS Kool-Aid . As I said, MS has stated that if we're worried about it, we can turn it off in the settings. If we can turn it off and use the console they cannot justify making us plug it in. Again, if it breaks, my console, which MS assures me can perfectly well be used without it, becomes useless until I can replace it, however long that might take. That seems reasonable to you?
Thus far they haven't shown that it's any more necessary to the operation of the console than are the 24 million+ Xbox 360 Kinects which have been sold. Their requirement that it be plugged in is just plain arbitrary.
Absolutely true that if you don’t like it you do not have to purchase it just like you do not have to purchase any other device that comes standard with a feature you do not like. For instance if you don’t like blue-ray, you cannot get an Xbox One without a blue-ray (or the PS3 last gen which raised the cost), you cannot buy a PS without their crappy controller, you cannot buy an Iphone 5 without a front facing camera, you cannot buy a SMART TV without the companies programs preinstalled.
None of those are analogous except in that the products didn't absolutely need the features and leaving them out would have helped reduce the price (except for the pre-installed SMART TV apps). All are either innocuous (you don't have to use them or in any way deal with them) or easily defeatable by doing things like placing a bit of tape over the front facing camera on your phone (or etching the glass/melting the plastic over it if you're really serious ). Samsung makes a line of televisions with built in cameras and mics with which to do Kinect-like things, but they also make equivalent televisions without those features which can do everything that the ones which have the built in cameras and mics can do except respond to voice and gesture commands.
Kinect is more closely related to the IR remote that came packed in with my first 360; an alternate way of controlling the console which I didn't have to use and could have been left in the box. As it happens, I use IR commands via my universal remote to control the Xbox all of the time; my guess is that many if not most people don't and use a pad to control it.
You might be able to hack things or buy third party stuff later...
If they don't back off this requirement I hope to God that that's true. Hopefully if they don't back off the mandatory Kinect plug-in requirement I can put a cap on it which renders it deaf and blind and toss it behind my television when I'm not using it. Hopefully they will back off.
...but what is standard\required for the system is what is standard and required.
DRM and daily Internet connection was formerly "standard\required for the system"; people complained and they changed that. Hopefully people's complaints and the frightening mainstream press that will dog the console up to and beyond its launch will cause them to change the requirement to plug in Kinect. But if they do back down people will demand a cheaper, Kinect-free SKU and I think that that's probably the biggest reason why they might not.
Don't get me wrong--I think that the Kinect is a wonderful piece of tech and I own an Xbox 360 one. I turn the sensor on when I want to play the handful of motion controlled games that I like, or one of the few games which make excellent use of voice commands ( like Skyrim). Some games have suggested that they might respond to my shifting body posture and make my character duck and lean as I may be doing reflexively--that's very cool and I would certainly use the Kinect to play those games. But except for motion-control oriented games no game is ever likely to require that I use Kinect to control it, and if I don't want to play motion-control oriented games or use voice-and/or-motion controls in games which don't require that I use them, I should not have to plug it in.