It’s been a long time coming, but Microsoft is putting its Kinect peripheral to rest. After new game releases have slowly trickled to a stop, buyers wondering whether the company still has plans for the 3D camera, and a lack of fanfare in general, it looks like it’s curtains for the once-innovative Xbox 360 and Xbox One accessory.
The peripheral has sold around 35 million units since debuting back in 2010, according to a Fast Company interview with Microsoft. It managed to snap up enough adopters that it eventually earned the title of the fastest-selling consumer device in 2011, a title bestowed upon it by the Guinness World Records committee. It offered a far more complete solution for motion control than PlayStation’s later Move camera.
Kinect was much more than a combination of virtual pet and sports games, however, and it’s leaving behind a legacy rife with creative individuals who have utilized it for medical purposes, research, and more. Its tech has even inspired new products from Microsoft. Its depth-sensing tech has moved on to the HoloLens, and laptops use Windows Hell cameras with built-in Kinect tech for face recognition.
Despite the fact that even bundling Kinect with Xbox One units in the past couldn’t sufficiently bolster the product’s sales, it’s still an impressive peripheral that should be lauded, not mourned. When it debuted it proved there was still a lot of magic left to explore in the realm of gaming, especially in the way we interact with the software we consume on a daily basis.
Although Microsoft is discontinuing the product, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the games you already purchased for it way back when. Just look to the future, where we’ll be seeing a similarly interesting breakthrough when HoloLens finally arrives.