Microsoft Has Finally Killed the Kinect Xbox Sensor
After years of limited interest from game developers, Microsoft has decided to kill its Xbox Kinect video game sensor.
Microsoft (MSFT) has discontinued Kinect, but it will allow retailers to continue selling the game sensor until their stock runs out, the company confirmed to Fast Co. Design in an interview published on Wednesday. Microsoft told Fast Co. Design that it had sold 35 million Kinect units since its initial release in November 2010.
Kinect was pitched in 2010 as the next revolution in gaming. The technology would track a player’s movements, allowing for more interactive gameplay on the Xbox 360. Games that integrated fitness or dancing were especially popular with Kinect users.
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While Kinect was viewed by many in the “hardcore” segment of the gaming population as a gimmick, Microsoft trudged on and tried to improve the sensor in the Xbox One. But again, Kinect, which could also be used to send voice commands to the console in addition to controlling on-screen games, fell flat among most Xbox users.
As a gaming platform, Kinect couldn’t live up to the hype, but as tech news site The Verge said, Kinect’s technology was certainly important. The sensors, initially used to analyze the distance of users to the television, was ultimately improved and became a core component in Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset. Kinect technology is also integrated in Windows Hello, a security feature that gives users access to computers after the front-facing camera scans their faces and verifies their identity.
Still, over the years, Kinect’s importance in Microsoft’s broader gaming ambitions has declined, leading to the rather decision to kill it.