After seven long years on the market, the Kinect is officially sailing off into the sunset. Fast Company reports Microsoft has shuttered Kinect manufacturing, signaling the end of an era for Microsoft and the beloved (and often derided) console accessory.
After debuting for the Xbox 360 in 2010, the Kinect became a must-have accessory that allowed users to interact with the console through gestures and movements. It helped broaden the scope of Microsoft’s console beyond the hardcore gamer, taking a novel approach to interactivity in a similar vein to Nintendo’s Wii.
Microsoft then launched a more advanced version of Kinect with the Xbox One, but by then many gamers had moved on from the accessory. The beginning of the end happened when Microsoft decided to sell the Xbox One with the Kinect, pricing the bundle at $500, which was $100 more than the PS4 (sans Kinect, of course).
Over the past several months, Microsoft has more or less ignored Kinect’s existence, so today’s news isn’t much of a surprise; it was a matter of when, not if, the Kinect would die. As Microsoft sets its sights on 4K gaming, the Kinect simply had a place in the market. To be fair, the Kinect is still great for controlling the Xbox One using voice commands.
While the Kinect is dead, Fast Company notes that much of the accessory’s key technology has been implemented across Microsoft. For example, the Kinect team played a key part in building Windows Hello, which allows Windows 10 users to unlock their computer by just looking at it.
Once remaining Kinect stock is sold, that’ll be it. And it’s just as well, because the market moved on from the accessory a long time ago.