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Diskinected: Microsoft abandons Kinect

The Microsoft Kinect has been discontinued. (Source: Microsoft)
The Microsoft Kinect has been discontinued. (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft has called time on the Kinect motion control, visual recognition and voice Xbox peripheral. After selling over 35 million units, it has seen a sales slump with consumers more interested in traditional gaming experiences.
Sanjiv Sathiah,
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It started life as Project Natal and then became best known by its eventual product name, the Kinect. It was something of a hit on the Xbox 360, where it launched as an accessory and provided an interesting alternative to the motion control gaming that had become such a hit for the Nintendo Wii. Now, after selling in the order of 35 million units, Microsoft has pulled the plug on production of the Kinect meaning that once existing stocks run dry, it will be consigned to history.

Microsoft famously (or is that infamously?) bundled the fourth generation Kinect with the Xbox One at launch, with the idea that it would be an integral part of the overall experience. This included being able to control the whole Xbox One experience with either voice or gesture commands. While it might have been good in theory, it meant the Xbox One was more expensive than the Sony PlayStation 4 with that device going on to ratchet up many more sales as a result.

Customers, it seems, were far more interested in the principal function of a gaming console, which is gaming first and foremost. Eventually, Microsoft realized the error of its ways and the stopped bundling the Kinect and bringing the pricing of the Xbox back into line with its competition. That, however, effectively killed the platform from a developer perspective and, inevitably, we have now arrived at this point.

The Kinect paved the way for the kind of machine learning based facial recognition systems we now see becoming common place on devices like the iPhone X with Face ID, and Microsoft’s own Windows 10 Hello. However, like many of Microsoft’s good ideas, the company has been unable to maintain its traction in the market and, like Windows 10 Mobile, it has gone the way of the Dodo.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1231 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 10 > Diskinected: Microsoft abandons Kinect
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2017-10-26 (Update: 2017-10-26)