The company touted the device as a great way to play games using your hands and body but many of the titles failed to live up to that potential. While the original Kinect was one of the best selling video game peripherals ever, the second version was seen as a burden because it was forced upon people purchasing the Xbox One, inflating the overall price. Aside from that, there were privacy concerns and other controversies surrounding the product.
Well, this month Microsoft finally stopped production without revealing a new sensor or replacement. While the second Kinect may have been a controversial accessory, many studios built businesses around it. For example, you may have heard about a recent game called Fru from a small studio which relies on your body to reveal additional areas. Another such developer, which makes copious Kinect titles, is the Virtual Air Guitar Company. Virtual Air Guitar has shipped everything from Air Guitar Warrior for Kinect to Kung-Fu for Kinect. The list goes on and on.
Despite the fact that Microsoft stopped manufacturing the device, Virtual Air Guitar says that they'll continue to make Kinect games as long as people keep buying them. Currently they have two in development. There obviously isn't a shortage of sensors as you can still buy them easy, but the fact that Microsoft is abandoning a peripheral which many individuals have built businesses around is saddening to say the least.
The technology that powered Kinect has been moved along into Windows Mixed Reality, but for those fans and developers who invested in Kinect, it's hard to envision them trusting Microsoft once again in this new category. Kinect also had potential as a Cortana voice control assistant in a world where Google Home and the Amazon Echo are making headlines, but sadly, it never came to be. Hopefully Xbox head Phil Spencer and the Xbox Team know this, even though a lot of these are simply business decisions.
In any case, the move to kill Kinect seems like an incredible shame to those who actively use the peripheral either in a consumer or developer capacity. At the very least, Virtual Air Guitar is going to continue working with the device for now, but as we've seen with Windows 10 Mobile, support will dwindle without the backing of Microsoft.
You can still grab a Kinect sensor from Amazon for around $50.
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