The final nail in the Kinect coffin has been hammered into place with the announcement that Microsoft has ceased production of the Kinect Adapter, an accessary necessary to be able to use the camera on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X.
This news comes to us via Polygon, who recently had a chat with a Microsoft representative concerning all things Kinect. This move shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone following the Kinect's slow death over the last couple of years but, as the original article points out, frustration is certainly understandable.
According to the report, Microsoft is ending production of the Kinect Adapter in order to focus on other fan-requested accessories. The problem here is that, if anyone still wants to get their hands on an adaptor, it'll cost them a rather hefty premium on a third-party site.
While the original Xbox One has a port for the Kinect camera, the subsequent console models required a Kinect Adapter, allowing folks to plug the device into a USB port on either the One S or One X. While the Kinect itself was discontinued in recent years, Microsoft still made the Kinect Adapter available. For a while there, they were actually providing the device free of charge for people who wanted to upgrade from a standard Xbox One to one of the newer models. Once that promotion was discontinued, Microsoft would still sell the devices for about $40. Now that the Kinect Adaptor has been discontinued, you'll have to buy the device from sources other than Microsoft and, according to the initial report, that can now set you back hundreds of dollars.
It's easy to hear this news and wonder who, exactly, is in the market for a Kinect or a Kinect Adaptor, but the outcry has been pretty loud as of late. Still, it isn't like Microsoft has been hiding the fact that this day was coming. Their latest consoles didn't have a connector for the Kinect, a device that was itself discontinued in late October 2017. Shortly after, many games that required a Kinect were re-released with standard control options. Even the Xbox One's dashboard hasn't featured Kinect-based gesture controls for a long time.
This might be a good time to remind folks that you don't actually need a Kinect to get the absolute most out of your Xbox One any longer. All of the remaining voice commands, including Cortana, can be achieved with a standard microphone. Similarly, Microsoft announced support for standard USB cameras last year, so even streamers don't have to rely on the Kinect any longer.
Sure, it would have been nice if Microsoft had made this impending discontinuation known in advance of it happening, but that would have likely triggered bulk purchases by folks planning on selling them at a mark up anyway. In other words, this was the fastest route to the same destination. And if nothing else, we can now say that the Kinect is well and truly dead.