Kinect is officially dead on the Xbox as of the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S with no way back. As a gaming tool it died out a long time ago but as a way of controlling the console with voice many folks kept hold of them. After all, what's better than just barking a command to turn your console on and launch whatever you want like we're living in the future?
Well, we are in the future and thanks to Microsoft's integration with Google Assistant you can replicate all that Kinect voice command goodness for less with this handy Black Friday deal from Best Buy (opens in new tab) and from Walmart (opens in new tab).
Hey Google, launch Halo Infinite
With Google Assistant integration, this cheap Google Nest Mini is an ideal companion for your new Xbox Series X or Series S in a world where Kinect is longer possible.
Setting up the Google Assistant integration is extremely easy on both the console and your phone or tablet, and isn't limited to Android, either. iPhone users can also download the Google Home app and set this up just the same. The added bonus for Android users, however, is that the integrated Google Assistant on your smartphone can also act as a remote for your Xbox console, too. Pretty nifty, huh?
The Nest Mini itself isn't a bad little speaker, either. It's hardly audiophile quality sound but it's not bad at all and has a ton of volume. Besides barking at your Xbox to launch your favorite games or media apps, it's also handy for controlling an actually ridiculous number of smart home devices, playing music from sources like Spotify or YouTube Music, listening to podcasts, helping you manage your day and so much more.
Ordinarily you'll be asked to part with $50 for one of these, not at all unreasonable for what you're getting. But in the Best Buy early Black Friday sale you can shave $20 off that, which makes it an absolute no brainer. It also makes a perfect gift for the Xbox lover in your life as we enter the holiday season.
If you're looking to bundle up and save on multiple devices, Best Buy has some great Nest bundles on discount. One of the highlights is the Nest Mini plus Lenovo Smart Clock (opens in new tab) for just $65. The Smart Clock is like a smaller version of the Nest Hub, giving you all the power of Google Assistant along with a display and a charging port for your smartphone. It also doesn't have a camera, which is an important privacy factor for something you may well put in your bedroom.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine
Games that are using kinect v1 or kinect v2 are still able to work on Xbox Series S/X if we connect Kinect v2 with the official USB adapter?
I'm wondering if I could still play Kinect Sport Rivals, Dance Central Spotlight or some other games that are totally based on that.
Xbox Series X does not support Kinect. https://www.windowscentral.com/almost-all-xbox-one-games-should-play-xbox-series-x-launch
The article states that games that don't require Kinect are working since day one on Series X, not that games that requires Kinect won't be supported anytime later on nor Kinect will never be supported... Is there any official information about the support, or not, of Kinect later on?
If I connect Kinect on Series X, could I still say "Xbox On", "Go to Forza Horizon 4", "Volume Up" or anything else?
Kinect is gone man, if you have one, the only thing you can use it for is your PC. Unless you keep your Xbox one.
Such a shame and just simply a lack of fore site for future gaming when it comes to Kinect. My wife just bought the Ring for Nintendo Switch. It took her a bit to setup, but having to use the controllers after seeing what I could do with Kinect just makes me see more how MS gave up on something that could have been huge had they put their full force behind it.
And now I also see The Mirror being advertised. I was doing something very similar with Kinect and my Xbox workout years ago. SMH.
Well, the purpose was for gaming, but it would have been nice for them to have kept that feature for voice commands. I think MS really wanted the Kinect to be more about gaming, but game developers didn't make much use of it. I wish MS would have kept the Kinect and Cortana on Xbox, but it is what it is. The technology is still better than what Sony or Nintendo has to offer and I can only imagine what a version 4 of Kinect could have added.
So Google provides voice control, but what about the face-based login to the console or recognizing who is holding which controller for multiplayer games? Don't get me wrong, I'm buying a Series X as soon as I can find one available for sale from an official retailer (not buying one from a scalper), but I will SORELY MISS the full feature set of Kinect. Having to enter a password every time I want to do something on the Xbox is annoying. Not being able to do living room Skype calls with family without adding a camera (and finding one that will work at couch range -- is that even possible for either camera or mic?)… it's just all very depressing.
When are we getting good cams for facial recognition?!? I miss sorting on front of my TV and all my stuff just loads automatically...
One thing I believe is for sure, MS will have an answer for Kinect. Maybe Kinect v3, I don't know, but MS is heavily into biometrics. I don't see them not coming up with something for Xbox in the near future.
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