Microsoft has pulled the plug on the life support for its motion sensor gaming interface, Kinect.
In interviews with Fast Company, the device’s creator Alex Kipman and General Manager of Xbox Devices Marketing Matthew Lapsen confirmed that Microsoft won’t be manufacturing any more Kinect modules. The last units in existence are the current retail stock and once they’ve been sold, that’s it.
While it’s always great to have confirmation, this news really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. After all, Microsoft signalled this cut off by removing Kinect from the Xbox One retail package around three years ago.
After that, there was a really sharp drop off in the number of Kinect games produced, as well as the amount of games that boasted Kinect functionality – such as yelling orders at the module.
Unveiled at E3 back in 2009 as Project Natal, Kinect was a full-body motion-sensor interface for the Xbox 360. Instead of using the console’s control pad to play games, players could used their movements and voice commands instead. While some touted Kinect as the next stage of gamer interface, most saw it as Microsoft’s attempt to take a piece of the lucrative casual gaming market Nintendo was enjoying with the Wii.
While Kinect initially did well, selling around 1 million units in its first week of release, interest in the device dwindled. Players complained of latency issues and the fact that they didn’t like Kinect funcionality being shoved into games that really didn’t need it.
It seems, then, Microsoft has heard the audience’s gripes. We didn’t want Kinect. We never needed Kinect. So do us a favour and stop trying to ram it down our collective throat.
So farewell Kinect…. and don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.