Microsoft stops selling the Kinect adapter
The final nail in the Kinect’s coffin has been hammered, with Microsoft’s announcement it will no longer sell the adapter needed to connect its depth-sensing camera to Xbox One consoles and Windows PCs.
In the statement to Polygon, a Microsoft representative said that the adapter will no longer be available: “After careful consideration, we decided to stop manufacturing the Xbox Kinect Adaptor to focus attention on launching new, higher fan-requested gaming accessories across Xbox One and Windows 10.”
The death of the Kinect has been drawn out. When Microsoft launched the Xbox One S in 2016, the lack of an in-built Kinect port meant the only way players could use the peripheral was via a special adapter that plugged into the console USB port. Luckily for fans of awkward arm flailing, Microsoft offered free adapters to users for eight months after the Xbox One S launch.
That promotion came to an end in March 2017, and since then the adapter’s stocks have dwindled and sold out. Today’s announcement comes as a confirmation of what many already suspected: that Microsoft has stopped producing the adapter altogether. The Kinect has effectively been assigned to the past.
Rewind to 2014 and you’ll find a very different outlook from Microsoft. Speaking to Eurogamer at the time, Xbox UK marketing chief Harvey Eagle stressed that the Kinect is “integral to the Xbox One experience”, and that the company had no plans to release a Kinect-less console. That philosophy didn’t endure, with Microsoft announcing a Kinect-free Xbox One just three months later.
With no more adapters, and no more Kinects in production, the peripheral may be dead, but many of its technologies have migrated into the Xbox One itself – namely Cortana support with a headset. Microsoft has also added support for USB webcams to the Xbox One, meaning players can use their own cameras to capture footage of themselves for streams. As for the gestural, often clunky, titles that were built for the Kinect, those will be assigned to the history books.