Xbox One’s old vision is officially no more. The motion detecting camera known as Kinect will no longer be manufactured. What’s left in existing retail stock is it. No more Kinects are coming. If you want one (for whatever reason), you better go ahead and buy one.
Fast Company reported the end for Kinect this morning. Support for the once popular peripheral will continue according to the report, but “ongoing developer tools remain unclear.”
Kinect went from darling when it was first introduced in 2010 to irrelevance by the time it was bundled with the Xbox One in 2013. And it was this bundling that helped influence Xbox One’s $500 price tag. Which only helped Sony score a huge market share advantage with their PS4.
Not only was the PS4 more powerful, but it was $100 cheaper. Marketing doesn’t get any easier than that. Gamers flocked to the more powerful hardware in droves.
Microsoft stripped the Kinect from Xbox One bundles just a few months after release. That helped bring the cost down in-line with the PS4, but the damage was done. While the Xbox One is selling decent, it’s struggling to close the huge gap the PS4 opened with and continues to build.
The final nail in Kinect’s coffin started to get hammered in with the launch of the Xbox One S. The dedicated port for the Kinect was gone. A $50 adapter was pushed for those who still wanted to use Kinect, but Microsoft’s direction was clear. Kinect was not part of Xbox’s vision moving forward under the new head, Phil Spencer.
The same thing happened in messaging. Kinect has not been a part of any recent Xbox E3 conference.
I won’t say I never used my Kinect. I played several games with my niece and nephew. But there was never a ‘hardcore’ game that showed playing with Kinect was better. Shouting ‘volley’ the first time while playing Ryse was fun, but every Kinect gameplay feature always felt tacked on. Finally killing off the Kinect is a good thing. It was long overdue. The market has moved on long ago.
Sure, Kinect sold like crazy at first – but that just shows the appetite folks have for new ways of playing games (and gadgets). Microsoft stumbled when it couldn’t provide quality software.
Kinect as a product is dead, but its legacy lives on in other Microsoft products. Voice assistant Cortana and the mixed-reality HoloLens headset carry on.