Kinect for Windows v2 sensor sales end, developers can use Xbox One version instead

Microsoft has ended production and sales of its Kinect for Windows v2 hardware sensor. Software developers can still make Kinect-based Windows apps by using the version made for the Xbox One console in combination with the Kinect Adapter for Windows that launched in October.

Microsoft had previously announced it would end sales of the first Kinect for Windows sensor in 2015, but today's reveal that it would also stop producing the second generation version of the hardware that launched in the summer of 2014 is more of a surprise. The company explained their decision in a blog post:

Over the past several months, we have seen unprecedented demand from the developer community for Kinect sensors and have experienced difficulty keeping up with requests in some markets. At the same time, we have seen the developer community respond positively to being able to use the Kinect for Xbox One sensor for Kinect for Windows app development, and we are happy to report that Kinect for Xbox One sensors and Kinect Adapter for Windows units are now readily available in most markets.

Kinect Adapter

Microsoft added that the sensors in Kinect for Windows v2 and for the Xbox One are "functionally identical" and that the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 tools work with both. Microsoft will continue to offer support to developers who already have the Kinect for Windows v2 hardware.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

34 Comments
  • Well, that was short lived (the PC version) but it did seem redundant. Now that the Xbox One sensor is sold on it's own, the PC version is really no longer needed.
  • I never understood why they sold two different models in the first place. Seemed like a waste of resources and a needless fragmentation of the market. Now, if only we could get them to actually start promoting Kinect 2, or, at the very least, keep it in stock. It was out of stock at the Microsoft Store--the MICROSOFT Store for all of January, February, and most of March. It's been in and out, but mostly out, of stock at Amazon, Best Buy, Gamestop, Target, and Walmart ever since it launched in November 2014, and it has only been in one Xbox bundle since they began their bundling extravaganza in August 2014.
  • There should be plenty of them available on eBay from dumb people that got theirs in the bundle and don't think they need it.
  • You mean KNOW they don't need it, because it's really only used for ~80% accurate voice commands? 
  • Instead install voice app on your Xbox. Read through the commands help make it better.
  • I don't like those people. I'd never give them money. That said, I was more concerned about other people not being to buy Kinect 2 new. Most people don't know or don't want to go to eBay and buy used peripherals. If they're not encountering them in stores on the shelves or in Xbox One bundles, the adoption rate of Kinect will never grow. Microsoft seems to be shooting themselves in their feet since the "unbundling".
  • Does anyone have this on their PC? Most people don't even have it on their Xbox.
  • i wouldn't say "most  people". I'd say some people who bought an Xbox One with Kinect don't have it plugged in... I know a few people who bought their Xbox One Kinectless and bought a kinect a month later. Voice activated laziness FTW!
  • And letting OneGuide change channels ...
  • I would definitely say most people. Most (as in more than 50%) of people with an Xbox One did not buy it with Kinect. And very few actually buy the Kienct afterwards, it has dismal sales numbers. http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-Kinect-Sensor-Dance-Central-Spotlight/dp/B00N... 58 reviews and been on sale since October 2014.   If you for some reason actually do wish to foolishly purchase one, you can buy one used from someone who was conned into buying one in a bundle before the Kinect-free Xbox One SKU was released. 
  • Developer here. I do have one for development purposes. The PC version is identical to the Xbox (aside from cosmetic) and has the lengthy cords anyway.
  • I was going to get the Xbox One without Kinect, to save money, but then decided to get it with the Kinect. I don't use the gestures and stuff, but voice control is the best. Plug in my flash drive. "Xbox Go to Media Player. Go to Nick's Flash Drive. Xbox play Breaking Bad Season 3 episode 2." And of course while watching videos/movies. "Xbox Play. Xbox Fast forward."
  • It's mostly used for various commercial and industrial uses. For example, I know there was a commercial project that used the version 1 Kinect for perimeter fence security.  Normal security cameras often have motion sensing functionality, but it has a lot of false alarms or missed activity because those cameras can't tell the difference between motion from a fly on the lens or a person 100' away.  Kinect can judge size because it can determine distance so it is much more accurate for this application.  It's also produced in volume and has this kind of processing built in already so it's much easier to implement than starting from scratch.
  • Should've been this way since day one. The adapter is priced pretty steep though.
  • Yes, it is too pricey of an adapter. The Kinect 2 for Windows was selling for $200, $50 (price of the adapter) more than the $150 Xbox One version, but, really, they should bring that adapter cost down a bit.
  • Are there any interesting daily use Kinect apps or programs for PC? Just wondering if this would be with a look on my desktop workstation.
  • most of the videos I have seen come from business and health sector. some hospitals use it to entertain children and to diagnose certain things in an 'entertaining' matter. that's where I think Hololens will end up too, in the research labs across many business and organizations.
  • That's the issue, the PC already has speech operation so what's the point of this if none of the games on Steam seem to list Kinect as an option?
  • This is why Microsoft needs to go all out in unifying their stores. Bring Xbox One games fully to Windows 10--including Kinect integration. Encourage Kinect app development by bringing Kinect Windows 10 Store apps to Xbox One.
  • considering the whole 'unifying' the company shenanigans this seems like the right move. once xbox gets windows 10 it'll make even more sense to have just one Kinect sensor to develop for xbox apps, games, and windows apps, games.
  • Is this the end of Kinect? I hope not
  • Why would it be the end of Kinect?  This is just consolidating two slightly different products into one shared product.
  • Agree but why release a product and cancel
  • Zune
    Media Center
    Home Server They have a long history of releasing half baked products and just when they are almost done, they cancel them.
  • I actually had one of these Kinect for Windows v2 I bought last year upon release. I played around with it and checked out the development tools and later the recent apps available for Windows 8.1 and such but then decided I don't have much use for it so I finally sold it on eBay last week. I figure I could always get the adapter for the XBox One version (which I also have) to connect to a PC but truly speaking I don't think this version is going to go mainstream for PC. The reason why I say this is because with the recent introduction of Windows Hello for Windows 10, a camera with Intel RealSense 3D is required and the Kinect is not one of them so maybe a future version of Kinect will support it or they will leave Kinect for Windows for speciality apps the general public does not use.
  • You'd think Microsoft would be able to create a mini Kinect camera, incorporate it into their Lumia phones and Surface tablets, and then license the software out to other OEMs. That seems like it would make a lot of sense, but I know nothing about how feasible that is.
  • This sounds like a good idea in theory, but in reality much of the Kinect technology is in its sensor, and it probably requires to be the size it is to provide the functionality that they want. I don't think the camera part of it is anything more than just a standard webcam. Also, Microsoft is adopting Intel RealSense 3D camera technology instead of their own Kinect. I would expect to see this in future Surface tablets and possibly Lumia phones and products from other OEMs, and possibly in a future version of Kinect that combines Microsoft's sensor with Intel's camera.
  • "Microsoft is adopting Intel RealSense 3D camera technology instead of their own Kinect" This is what I find perplexing. I undertand that the Kinect camera is very unique, but surely they have learned enough about it in the past 4-5 years that they could make a Kinect Mini that is better than Intel's RealSense. It seems like they spent years of R&D on Kinect and, instead of now making it grow and extrapolating their knowledge to similar areas, they're just conceding to Intel. Doesn't make sense to me.
  • Does rather make sense :)
  • They are announcing this now, but haven't carried it for at least a month. I'm hoping they are clearing out stock for something more flexible.    Kinect is ok for gaming and incredible (revolutionary) for voice enabling your TV.     Still, what I want is a line of products to voice and motion enable the whole house....and works in conjunction with HoloLens too.  
  • I am hoping the HoloLens SDK will be released at next months build. And this will make Kinect seem all pretty redundant.
  • What was the point of making them two separate devices in the first place anyway? This makes more sense.
  • great news! wow think about windows 10 games on PC with Kinect.....WOW just WOW!
  • Hi, I have no credit card  or any other type of resources, Can any one denote it to me... thanks.......