Microsoft has stopped making the Kinect, the gaming accessory that looked, at one point, like it might represent the future of gaming. Unfortunately for Microsoft, gamers have moved onto bigger and better things such as the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, which means the Kinect is now dead.
In 2010, Microsoft launched the Kinect for the Xbox 360. This peripheral combined a motion-sensing camera and microphone to put you in the game. It was, in many ways, Microsoft’s answer to the Wii. Kinect subsequently made it to Windows and the Xbox One, but Microsoft is now calling it a day.
Microsoft Stops Manufacturing the Kinect
In an interview with Fast Co. Design, Alex Kipman, creator of the Kinect, and Matthew Lapsen, GM of Xbox Devices Marketing, revealed that Microsoft is no longer manufacturing the Kinect. The company will continue supporting existing units, but no more will be rolling off the production line.
The simple reason behind the demise of the Kinect is market forces. Microsoft wasn’t making money from the Kinect by marketing it to gamers. So it makes little sense to keep trying. Instead, Microsoft has switched focus to delivering a more powerful console in the form of the Xbox One X.
Microsoft has since issued a statement saying:
“Manufacturing for Kinect for Xbox One has ended but it is not the end of the journey for the technology. Kinect continues to delight tens of millions of Xbox owners and Kinect innovations live on in Xbox One, Windows 10, Cortana, Windows Holographic and future technologies.”
While Microsoft didn’t mention it by name, the technology behind the Kinect also lives on in the iPhone X. In 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense, the company responsible for the depth-sensing technology that made Kinect work. And that same technology is now powering Apple’s new Face ID.
The Essence of Microsoft Kinect Lives On
The Kinect was a successful gaming peripheral, with Microsoft shifting 35 million units. However, it’s now clear that Kinect wasn’t just a gaming peripheral, and the underlying technology can be used for more important things. So, feel free to mourn the end of the Kinect, but remember that its essence lives on. And if that doesn’t ease your woes there’s always the Microsoft HoloLens to coo over.
Do you own a Kinect? If so, do you own the original unit for the Xbox 360? Or Kinect 2.0 for the Xbox One? When was the last time you used your Kinect? Do you think Microsoft is giving up on Kinect too easily? Or is VR the future of gaming? Please let us know in the comments below!