After seven years, Microsoft has decided to call it quits with the Kinect.
In an interview with Co Design [via IGN] Alex Kipman (creator of the Kinect) and GM of Xbox Devices Marketing Matthew Larsen confirmed that Microsoft will no longer be manufacturing the Xbox motion control device.
Microsoft will continue to support customers who own a Kinect, but it’s not clear at this time whether developer tools will remain supported.
Originally released for the Xbox 360 back in 2010, the Kinect offered consumers an alternative form of motion controls compared to what was avaliable on the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 at the time. By using a camera, depth sensor and built-in microphones, the Kinect allowed players to control the Xbox’s functions through body gestures or their voice, and offered a new form of interactivity that encouraged gamers to get off the couch.
In 2013, Microsoft made the peripheral an integral component of the Xbox One, bundling the Kinect 2.0 with all consoles — a move that was poorly-received by consumers and prompted Microsoft to backtrack and start selling Xbox One units without the Kinect, having it remain a standalone product. The device has essentially been on life support ever since, to the point where Microsoft started talking about it less and less. Only three Kinect-specific games were released in 2017 and only 21 have ever been released in total.
While this may be the end for the Kinect, the technology lives on, as the software is now used to power Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant, Windows’ facial ID system and the Microsoft HoloLens.