Microsoft Shifts Attention to “New, Higher Fan-Requested Gaming Accessories”
In what could be called the end of an era, Microsoft officially ended production on their Kinect Adapter on Tuesday.
In a statement provided to Polygon, a Microsoft spokesperson stated that their decision to discontinue the Xbox Kinect Adapter was to “focus attention on launching new, higher fan-requested gaming accessories across Xbox One and Windows 10.” When asked if there would be plans to bring back the adapter in the future, the spokesperson only stated that the adapter will “no longer be available.”
With this, it can be said for certain that this is the death knell for the Kinect 2.0. When the Xbox One S debuted in 2016 without the dedicated Kinect port, many said that the Kinect was officially dead in Microsoft’s eyes, despite Microsoft removing the Kinect Xbox One bundles from stores only 2 years prior. Microsoft did allow for Kinect owners to get the adapter for free with the purchase of an Xbox One S. That promotion ended in March 2017 and was not resurrected with the launch of the Xbox One X, much to the chagrin of many who upgraded.
The Kinect adapter was made available for separate purchase, at a cost of $39.99. However, in recent months, the adapter has been sold out everywhere, including the Microsoft Store, Amazon, BestBuy and GameStop. This added to the speculation that production of the adapter had been halted, and has led to massive review bombing on the listing on Microsoft’s website. This comes only 3 months after the company announced that the Kinect itself had been discontinued altogether.
With the Kinect adapter being officially retired, newer Xbox One owners will be unable to play games that require the sensor. While Cortana integration requires a headset at the very least, the “Hey Cortana, Xbox On” command will not work without it. USB webcam support has been added as of last October, so Xbox One owners who stream to Mixer off of the console or use Skype will be able to use their Logitech c922 and Brio webcams to utilize these services.
Tuesday, January 2, 2018 marks the end of the era of Kinect 2.0, however, according to Microsoft, this isn’t the “end of the journey for the technology, as the Kinect continues to delight tens of millions of Xbox owners.”