An unnamed Microsoft employee working as a developer on the Xbox One conducted an informal Q-and-A on the Xbox One subreddit Friday evening. The developer’s identity was verified by the subreddit’s moderators, but it should still be noted that all information is unofficial and should be looked at with a fair amount of skepticism. Still, if some of these answers can be trusted, they provide a fair amount of new, interesting information about Microsoft’s new console.

One of the major talking points of the Q-and-A was the Kinect 2, the motion sensor that comes bundled with every console and, without which, the console will not run. This addition is one of the biggest differences from the PS4, which will not ship with Sony’s Eye. In fact, some reports have said that plans to ship the system with the PlayStation 4 Eye were nixed in order to beat Microsoft’s price by $100. According to the Xbox One developer, though, the Kinect is an integral part of the system that cannot be sacrificed, saying the number of features that use the Kinect are “too many to count.” The developer went on to say that “the sensor costs almost as much as the console to make,” underlining Microsoft’s commitment to the technology.

After one question breached the topic of adapting the Kinect to support programming similar to that of TrackIR, the developer said the Kinect could “no doubt” achieve this kind of game control.

On the much debated topic of Xbox One always-on, DRM policies and their sudden reversal, the developer said, “Personally, I was a little surprised at the timeframe which we decided on the DRM reversal.” Other than that, however, the topic was largely untouched.

Several smaller questions were briefly fielded about the console’s operating system and hardware. According to the developer, the Xbox One runs almost silently, saying that one computer makes more noise than three consoles running simultaneously. The architecture of the operating system has changed as well. “I code apps for the Xbox One like I code for [Windows 8] apps,” the developer said.

The console’s system of “snapping” applications in the same screen will depend on the type of applications being used, the developer said. For example, AAA games will not be able to snap to a smaller side of the screen. Only applications like Internet Explorer and Skype will be allowed to snap to a smaller screen.

The Q-and-A also delves into the developer’s thoughts on everything from controlling the console via voice commands to what it’s like to work at Microsoft, so feel free to thumb through the thread yourself for more.

Connor Sears
I'm a journalism student at Northwestern University with a love of good writing and a passion for games. Tell me what I'm doing wrong at or check out my infrequent opinions on things @connordsears

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