You're either deliberately sidestepping or flat-out missing my point. Not once have I argued that Kinect is a great peripheral (though I'm very intrigued by the tech advances made with Kinect 2.0), and I'm on the fence as to whether or not forcing the peripheral was a good idea.
That being said, the fact of the matter is that Microsoft poured a lot of cash into R&D for Kinect 2. And it costs a lot to make each unit. When you make that kind of expenditure, you don't suddenly throw up your hands and say, "Eh, that was a fun way to spend millions of dollars, now we'll make it optional and toss away any hope of recouping our investment." It's not like reversing on the DRM issue, which was a simple matter of flipping a switch, figuratively speaking -- the horse has already bolted on the hardware side of things. To offer a Kinect-free box would be the same lunacy as the different SKUs (with and without hard drive) with the Xbox 360 launch, except multiplied by a factor of a hundred. This is business economics 101.
It's also Economics 101 to not pour money into a failed system in the hope that it somehow miraculously becomes a success.. at one point you have to decide to pull the plug.
Now when the Xbox made its debut way back against the PS2 Microsoft damn well knew they had a huge battle in front of them and to break into that market they were prepared to lose insane amounts of money but they knew that the videogame market has huge possibilities so they were filing the Xbox losses under investment for future generations.
Now they are an established player in the videogame market so that gamble paid off and no matter what we may believe the XO will be a success.. it could have been a bigger success without the abysmal launch handling but it is what it is.
Now the thing is.. how much do people want the Kinect? Is it more of a (still novelty) toy to amaze friends for a short while while you browse menus Minority Report style or is a serious device with possibilities we may not realize that may change usage habits?
MS wanted by force to have their customers adapt to their vision on how the XO should be used and the customer showed them the middle finger so MS cried uncle and went back to the drawing board (something unprecedent at this scale and it shows how scared MS is to lose this console race).
Now the only thing remaining is the 100$/Euro/whatever gap between the PS4 and XO and that could still be a dealbreaker for many people. It is hard to convince people for an extra device they don't need to play most games or watch Videos/hear music and they will ask themselves why they need to pay extra 100 bucks to use the same features as the PS4.
Games won't be such a big factor.. only the most hardcore buy a console for a single gaming franchise like Halo or Metal Gear Solid (many big games are cross platform anyway) so unless MS really pulls out a row of exclusive killer games (unlikely) or they really get out some features for the Kinect 2 that make it an unique experience like the original Wii (seriously.. having a group of people bowling with this small white controller was a huge blast) it may look dire for MS.
So i fully expect them to offer a Kinect-less version at some point.. i don't believe it will be at launch as they will still try to push it but if that doesn't work expect one in 2014 including some marketing bullshit to justify that and make themselves look good.