Now that smartphones are shipping with the same kind of high-quality depth-sensing and motion tracking cameras that Microsoft had used in its Kinect accessories for Xbox consoles… Microsoft is apparently scrapping its Kinect line of products.
Late last year the company stopped manufacturing new Kinect hardware, and now the company has stopped making the USB adapter required to connect a Kinect with Xbox One S or Xbox One X game consoles or a Windows 10 PC.
In a statement released to Polygon, Microsoft says the company “decided to stop manufacturing the Xbox Kinect Adapter” to focus on “new, higher fan-requested gaming accessories.”
In other words, it’s not like these things were all that popular anyway.
Still, this is bad news for folks that had games or software that required a Kinect and who were hoping they’d be able to keep using those games on newer consoles. It also suggests that while smartphone makers see depth-sensing technology as the future of secure logins (and emoji), this sort of technology may not play much of a role in console gaming for the foreseeable future.
Of course, that doesn’t mean motion tracking has no place in gaming… it’s just that these days there’s more of a focus on delivering it through virtual reality systems than cameras that sit by a 2D television.