Today, the company announced it has ended production of the popular Kinect Adapter for Xbox One S and Xbox One X. The original Xbox One, which launched in 2013, contained a dedicated Kinect port because initially, the console required the accessory to function. Due to severe consumer backlash, Microsoft decided to change that policy, with a refined Xbox One S lacking the port a few years later. The same holds true for the recently-released Xbox One X because, just like the Xbox One S, it lacks a dedicated Kinect port.
This news will be disappointing to many gamers who wanted to use a Kinect with their Xbox One S or Xbox One X. The Kinect not only allows you to speak to Cortana seamlessly, but it's also necessary when you're playing titles like Fru or Kinect Sports Rivals. Certain games and applications like Just Dance 2018 and Skype go one step further because they let you to record or transmit video through Kinect.
Not only that, but this is also troubling news for studios that exclusively make Kinect games like Virtual Air Guitar Company. In a statement issued to Polygon, a Microsoft spokesperson said the following about the company's decision to discontinue the Kinect Adapter.
After careful consideration, we decided to stop manufacturing the Xbox Kinect Adapter to focus attention on launching new, higher fan-requested gaming accessories across Xbox One and Windows 10.
The fact that Microsoft will no longer make the Kinect Adapter has also lead to a further price increase across the third-party market, with some adapters reaching as high as $300 on Amazon. That costs more than the Kinect camera itself! Meanwhile, it's still easy to purchase a Kinect 2.0 on Amazon for roughly $80.
The discontinuation effectively means that those who purchase the Xbox One S or Xbox One X won't be able to use the Kinect, without delving into third-party resellers. Studios like Virtual Air Guitar Company already struggle when it comes to selling its games because not many individuals own the peripheral to begin with, and this change only amplifies its struggles. Not many gamers, if any, will be willing to drop up to $300 on an adapter. Even sellers on websites like eBay are asking around $100 for used ones.
When the Xbox One S launched, the company offered a free Kinect Adapter to those who had a camera. There has been a shortage of Kinect Adapters for months now and the company is yet to provide a viable solution (and likely never will) for existing owners. Abruptly discontinuing the Kinect Adapter seems like the opposite reaction to this problem.
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