Do you remember that device that would allow you to command your Xbox One to play a certain song, or switch from gaming to watching TV in a series of glitchy seconds? Yeah, I barely remember it too. Well, apparently the Kinect– that doomed device with the all-seeing eye – will finally kick the bucket once all of the remaining stock is sold off, Microsoft told Fast Co. in an interview and other sources reported.
The Kinect first launched in November 2010 as an accessory to the Xbox 360. The idea was groundbreaking at the time, acting as a gateway to what people really wanted: VR. But now that there’re already VR devices being sold around the world, the Kinect has lost its flavor. It could carry out spoken commands, like ” Xbox, go to Netflix,” and offer the functionality to Skype with friends and family on the big screen. But the Kinect failed because of how it became packaged with the Xbox One.
In November 2013, the Xbox One was first released. As a part of the bundle for the console’s release, Microsoft launched an improved version of the Kinect, forcing users to pay a whopping $500 for the whole deal. Meanwhile, the buyers of the PlayStation 4 were sitting comfortably as they paid $400 for their new console. The games attached the device – like Dance Central and Fruit Ninja – were popular at first and helped drive sales throughout the first year after its release. But, in 2014, Microsoft realized their mistake, removing the Kinect from Xbox Ones and bringing the price down to $400.
After that, the device died down. There was no need to add these functions to the games that Microsoft was having released on the Xbox One. If they were making more games like Dance Central, then that would’ve been a different story. They could’ve at least tried to sell them as they were: Kinect games. But, instead, Microsoft had asked publishers to include some variation of Kinect functionality in their games. For example, in Mass Effect 3, you could speak out loud to your team through your Kinect. Needless to say that that didn’t last long.
The Xbox One has moved on completely from that phase of Kinect gaming and now functions much like the PlayStation 4: as a normal gaming system with an enhanced media service and other useful functions. The Kinect will always be known as one of those driving forces that made the Xbox One inferior to the PlayStation 4, because who would want to pay more money for a console that would always be listening/hearing to everything going on in your house? Creepy, like a Halloween movie. But everybody has phases. Thankfully Microsoft realized that theirs was one that could be done away with before it went too far.