Microsoft Officially Ends the Kinect

Microsoft has officially announced that they have stopped producing the Kinect. Introduced in 2010, the system has sold approximately 35 million units in that time. It was groundbreaking for its time, even if it did still feel more like a novelty accessory than something essential to the system.


It required a fair bit of space to use properly. It took a bit of rearranging to get any decent response from it. Players had to adjust a lot of things to get a good feel for how the Kinect itself worked. The sensor required 6 ft of clearance for 1 player and a total of 8 feet for 2 players. Getting it set up around the TV could take some time as well. The sensor ideally was set up 2-6 feet from the floor of the room. That part would be slightly easier to pull off. The play space had to be fairly clear for you to get proper results


The Kinect was initially bundled with Xbox One and offered as a bundle with the Xbox 360. The Xbox One suffered some for the initial bundle with the Kinect. This higher price slowed sales initially. Once the Xbox One was offered individually, sales picked up. It did help that it lead to a price drop as well.


The Kinect offered many features that were new to gaming back at that time. It allowed for direct control with your body, introducing Just Dance, Child of Eden, Kinectimals and many other titles. It allowed for voice controls as well, a unique feature at the time of its release. You could sit down and control your console using specific voice commands.  The biggest problem that the Kinect suffered from was getting its share of shovelware. While there were good games, they were harder to find after a while.


The Kinect, like any console (or console accessory), has gone through numerous iterations. The vision of the device improved drastically over its 4 iterations. It started at a mere 50 degrees of vision and reached up to 120 degrees of vision. Its power consumption also dropped from 50 watts down to 1.5 watts at peak use in its final iteration. It still required some moving of furniture to use properly.


The Kinect does have a legacy that will persist well after its own end. The Cortona system in Windows 10, the Xbox OS system. The Microsoft HoloLense will be its descendent at a later date. The depth sensing technology developed for the Kinect is core to the HoloLense and its functionality. Some will miss this accessory, but it will not be missed overly much.

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