Microsoft is Finally Killing Off the Kinect

Microsoft is Finally Killing Off the Kinect

In an interview with Co.Design, Microsoft's Alex Kipman and Matthew Lapsen spoke about Kinect and the journey it went on. Kinect 2.0 was created to be an essential part of the Xbox One, but Microsoft did a 180 following early negative reactions to the console. Numerous games were unresponsive and it was clear gamers were more interested in more traditional gaming experiences. In fact, part of the Kinect tech is central to Microsoft's mixed reality/augmented reality efforts (HoloLens and beyond).

In other words: The Kinect is dead-long live the Kinect. Motion and voice commands in games felt tacked on, and the original novelty of the Kinect had faded.

Obviously, the writing has been on the wall for Kinect for a long time, and according to a report from Co.Design, the axe has finally dropped. Microsoft originally positioned the Xbox One as an "all-in-one entertainment device" that could play games, video and music apps, and give you direct access to cable TV. This lead to the Xbox One selling more units, but limited the scope of developers keen on working with the Kinect to hit large audiences.

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Gamers have always had a love and hate relationship with Microsoft's Kinect motion-sensing accessory, but soon it is about to be put to rest. After receiving an overall negative response from consumers however, Microsoft decided against the idea of the Kinect needing to be plugged in but still bundled it with the Xbox One when it launched in 2013. It was also capable of detecting and recognizing faces using depth-sensing 3D sensors for the camera. No further units will be produced and only the remaining stock of the units now in stores will be available for sale, though support for the device will continue for customers that now have it for Xbox consoles.

But Microsoft said it hasn't entirely given up on the Kinect. That decision may have saved Xbox One, but ultimately doomed Kinect. Plus, there was never a true killer app game for Kinect along the lines of Halo or Gears of War.