Following some controversy following its online requirement and DRM, Microsoft pulled a full 180 yesterday. Some form of internet connectivity will still be required, though, at least when you start your system for the first time.
Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten told IGN that a day-one update will be required, but that was always going to be the case. "That's frankly just a difference in manufacturing schedules versus software schedules," Whitten said. "We just wanted to be clear that that hasn't changed, that you have to go online to get the software update for day one, then you wouldn’t have to be connected after that."
If you don't have broadband, though, Whitten confirmed that other methods like smartphone tethering will work for the update. "Sure," he said. "Any way that you can get connectivity to the Live service would work to enable that to come down to the console."
Whitten also confirmed, unsurprisingly, that the Kinect will still be required, calling it a "critical part of the architecture." And though the console doesn't require an online check-in, Whitten says he believes that "most people, frankly, are going to continue to take advantage of the connected state and all that comes with it."