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The Xbox One S will require a separate Kinect USB adapter but you can get it free

Microsoft has reduced the new Xbox One S by 40% when compared to the original Xbox. And while they managed to squeeze in the power brink into the device to save space on your counter they did have to remove the Kinect port (opens in new tab) to make room.

The good news is the Xbox One S is, of course, compatible with the Kinect sensor. However, you will need to pick up the Kinect USB connector kit, which is an extra $49. That purchase is not an insignificant add-on if you are a big user of voice, recognition auto-login, or gesture game support and it does mark up the price significantly for the One S.

Additionally, in order to make the Xbox One S as compact as possible and make all of these updates, we removed the dedicated Kinect port from the back. Kinect for Xbox One will still be compatible with Xbox One S via the Xbox Kinect Adapter for USB connection and offers the same great experiences as the current console.

The better news? Microsoft is giving away that connector to current Xbox One owners looking to upgrade. Microsoft has set up a dedicated page so that when the One S is available you can just enter in your serial numbers and get the adapter at zero cost.

This adapter will be available for free to customers who have an existing Xbox One console, an Xbox One Kinect and an Xbox One S console. Check back on this page when you have your Xbox One S console to order your free adapter. You will need the serial number for all three devices to get the free Xbox Kinect Adapter.

You can bookmark that page by going here: How to use an Xbox One Kinect Sensor with an Xbox One S console (opens in new tab)

Regardless, if you are committed to the new design, HDR gaming, and that significant 4K video output, the Xbox One S is your only choice at the moment.

See Kinect USB kit at Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

55 Comments
  • HDR gaming?
  • "High-Dynamic-Range". Basically it will allow games to achieve more colors than normal, leading to a more vivid, colorful, and immersive viewing experience. I assume you'll need an HDR capable TV to take advantage of it, which is pretty much exclusive to flagship TV's at the moment. Windows Central for Windows 10-Microsoft Lumia 640
  • The gaming performance is the same as the current gen, it's just media that is getting updated with 4K HDR.
  • That's great than. Exactly what I wanted to hear.
  • No Tom, wrong.  The new Xbox has hdmi 2.0a meaning it does 60@4k and HDR for video _and_ games.  The blueray is 4K UHD also. For media this is an excellent device. 
  • Is this the same usb adapter used with the Xbox 360, and original Kinect?
  • Unlikely, the port was redesigned for the Xbox One.
  • Unlikely.  Different connectors for a start, plus way more data flowing to the console fromn the new kinect than the 360 one.
  • How about VR capability?
  • Xbox 360 S added a Kinect port, Xbox One S removes it.
    This is just a Balmer vs. Nadella thing.
  • Yet, it makes sense. Face it, Kinect is not a key component any longer. It pretty much failed. You learn, you move on and you make a compelling device like the S.
  • So how does Cortana operate on xbox one / s without Kinect?
  • You can use a headset.
  • Because I always wear my headset while watching a movie.
  • Buy a Kinect then
  • they really killed the usefulness of that feature. Cortana will go underused and be removed due to that because Users wont be using headsets for non-gaming interactions.
  • Yeah, nothing like wanting to change games, tumbling for a headset, plugging it in, putting it on, then finally getting what you want done. If you are lucky, you can need to pause a TV show in that scenario!
  • This is the sad truth. But they also didn't push Kinect hard enough. Nadella gives up on anything that doesn't work out and instead of fixing things he kills them off. He slowly destroys the Microsoft I learned to love. All that is left is to hope that it leads to something good.
  • Nadella gives up on anything that doesn't work out? If that were the case, they'd have halted production of Windows 10 Mobile when he signed on.
  • Is VR a key component? Hopefully these accessories will operate over standard USB3. I don't see VR being any more pervasive in the living room over camera/IR based experiences like Kinect or Wii/Wii U. It's quite confusing to see how motion tracking brought new methods of interaction, but currently VR still lends itself to being used with a standard controller. If they do bring out additional controllers in the future, I see VR being less adoptable and more convoluted to get into than a set it and forget device like Kinect
  • They didn't try to make it successful. Last Microsoft Kinect game was 2+ years ago and they removed all Kinect gestures from Xbox one. Not much left except for 3rd party Kinect games. And yet no clear public message what future path will be (almost like mobile currently).
  • Aside from Xbox Fitness, Microsoft published 1 game for Kinect this generation: Kinect Sports Rivals. Less a case of "failing" than of intentionally killing. The only things special about the Xbox One were the Kinect functionality and multitasking. Both features are now marginally supported. The lesson is that once again MS has no idea what to do with hardware technology even when they are far ahead of the curve: tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, and now motion control. Next will be AR. Microsoft constantly gets to market early with hardware tech, sees the potential, then completely squanders it as another company comes along and dominates the field. MS is Xerox Parc times a thousand.
  • The new CEO has been killing Kinect the same way he has been killing windows phone. How typical. The Scorpio probably won't support Kinect anymore and will use something else for room scale VR.
  • I think it means Kinect as we currently know it is a goner. Developers just aren't interested, and MS having to sacrifice processing power (versus PS4) to bundle Kinect hurt them dearly.
  • How many USB ports does the Xbox One have? Does it only have the one on the side of the device? It would be a shame to tie up the only USB port with your Kinect
    sensor. Not to mention how ugly that would look.
  • There are 3 USB ports on Xbox One. Should be same for One S. Two in the back, one on the side.
  • The Xbox One S has 2 USB 3.0 ports on the back.
  • I believe three, two on the left and one on the back, not including the extra Kinect port. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • And thanks to a 2tb drive we won't need those USB sockets anywhere near as much as with the current consoles.
  • Who knows next thing you know xb1 os will require half the drive
  • My only reservation about the new version has just been mitigated. First world problem solved!
  • so is there any hope for a trade in program?
  • Yes visit Xbox.com for more information and continue watching the E3 briefing! :) Posted via Surface Pro 4 or Microsoft Halo Phone
  • so... now even the xbox will need the pc adapter? lol they removed the power brick but added the Kinect brick to your table, nice job
  • I guess they're presuming People Who Want Kinectless Much Smaller Xbox > People Who Want Kinect and Slightly Smaller Xbox. That's probably the right bet.
  • The Kinect adapter isn't a bulky brick. Unless I've been under a rock. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The 360 kinect adaptor for 360s with no dedicated port used a smallish plugpack, not a brick, so hopefully this will be no different.  USB3 simply dosn't provide enough power by itself.
  • This is better for me as I have absolutely no use or need for the kinect.
  • I definitely won't be upgrading if this requires a power adaper to run Kinect.
  • Pretty much confirms Kinect isn't a concern going forward.
  • For the first time, I really believe that Kinect is dead. I mean, you only get the adapter I'd you upgrade consoles? That screams, "we don't want new Kinect sales!" Might as well announce the end of the thing and put out a smaller, audio-only device for voice commands. Yeesh.
  • Kinect is a good idea. The only problem is that developers make or break these hardware ideas. Look at the Wii U for example - the gamepad/controller combo is a brilliant idea (I actually love it, use it all the time too), but how many developers really supported it? It made porting games much more difficult for studios that wanted to release a single title across all three consoles. The Kinect pretty much suffers the same challenges. The fact that it was peculiar to the Xbox simply made AAA studios reluctant to make any games particularly targeting the Kinect, hence the current situation.
    This is the way of the industry, it's really in the hands of the games developers
  • Lol wish Nintendo would offer the gc adapter API to more devs as pro controller is weak
  • And bigger ommission is no Kinect games announced once again by Microsoft. There's a problem if there are hardly any games for it. Big money isn't in Kinect and that's probably reason but it widened the appeal of 360 before and that helped it become as popular as it was. Sad to see the direction it's going. As much Rare was critized the Rare Kinect Sports games sold really well and it did increase 360 sales. Not so sure the impact will be the same now.
  • Actually it brings devices up to par with each other and its smarter that way. Making the Kinect compatible w/ windows 10 PC and Xbox connecting them the exact same way makes things "simple" even if we see it as more "complicated"
  • Consistently bad isn't good, though. If they wanted to make things better, they would redesign the Kinect to not need the special port (maybe putting Type-C on it and the new console?).
  • Well, I just bought that Universal Remote ya recommended last week. As long as I can turn the Xbox on with that I'll be aight. I did use that Xbox On feature all the time though. It was my most used, but that was the main purpose of my Kinect. It always had trouble with all my other commands. I can live without it, no biggie.
  • What would be the point? The Kinect is virtually useless now on Xbox.  NXOE gutting it's ability and now it can hardly understand plain english voice commands.  Between that and the horrible tiny menus, that was enough reason to get rid of our Xbox.  I'm not surprised they no longer have an actual Kinect port.
  • The way Microsoft has treated Kinect owners this generation is reason enough to pass on future Xbox consoles. Microsoft launch promises and announcements are worth nothing as Xbox OTA DVR people recently learned. I've never had a company take away features from a piece of hardware they forced everyone to buy at launch. Absurd. Even beyond console gaming, in the world of devices companies do not force you to take software updates that eliminate core functionality from a piece of hardware that was once required and purchased by millions. The IR pairing on my day one Xbox controllers is disabled for no good reason, the gesture control from the Xbox One is removed. The Xbox team is run by terrible people. Any group that treats customers like this should not be trusted. Call me when Phil Spencer is gone, until then I'll be enjoying VR on other platforms.
  • Bye
  • They will totally come out with a smaller Kinect with USB Instead of the Legacy connector! Major Nelson said that there was something coming on the Kinect side which isn't ready. And remember if it's USB than Windows 10 gets it too without the hassle of adapters. I guess they didn't come out with that cos the people associate Kinect with failure... So they annouce it when the Games are Ready for the Xbox/Windows 10 Launch. Smart choice if you ask me. Maybe they wait until Project Scorpio.. Kinect and a VR Headset can open a whole new Dimension to VR Games... Like Illumni Room years ago... this in VR or AR enviroment can have great impact on VR Gaming.
  • Coming soon...
  • Thats awesome, now make the 360 Kinect games are backward compatible.  It is the only thing holding me right now as I dont need AAA games.  Kinect Sport, PowerUP Heroes, and Starwars Kinect are the one used the most when friends come to visit.
  • Makes you wonder why they didn't just have the Kinect plug into a USB port in the first place. Presumably to prevent folks from using it with their PC (I wonder if the adaptor will allow it?) Without Kinect though, Cortana is going to be less useful (I can't see folks wanting to wear a headset when using the XBox for media playback) . Perhaps a redesigned media remote with built in mic (like the Amazon Fire one) would be a sensible workaround, plus an opportunity to get rid of the dire current remote.
  • It s about the power requirements, which is why the 360 adapter for original Kinect and the PC adapter for Kinect 2.0 had separate power plugs.