There has been a lot of speculation recently about the future of Microsoft’s Kinect sensor. There haven’t been any rumors or reports recently about a new iteration of the sensor. Many felt that the company was simply going to discontinue the Kinect eventually and that’s precisely what it has done. Microsoft has now decided to discontinue the Kinect for Xbox and PC.
Microsoft confirmed to Co.Design that it has ceased manufacturing for the Kinect motion sensor. What that means is that Microsoft is no longer producing any new units of the Kinect. Retailers are going to sell the remaining stock until they run out.
It wouldn’t be right to call the Kinect a failure. The device did perform well. Microsoft has reportedly sold over 35 million Kinect units since the first was released in 2010. However, it didn’t really gain popularity the way that Microsoft was probably hoping that it would. The Kinect for Xbox 360 was actually the fastest-selling consumer device in 2011, it picked up a Guinness World Record back then.
Microsoft tried to push the sensor with the Xbox One when the console was released in 2014. However, the price point meant that the Xbox One was losing out on sales to the PlayStation 4. This forced Microsoft to eventually unbundle the Kinect from the console. Things didn’t really get better for the Kinect since then.
The product may have met its end but the technology is going to live on. Much of the depth-sensing tech that the Kinect relied on is going to be used by Microsoft to power mixed reality experiences through devices like the HoloLens headset. The same technology is also being used in the new Windows Mixed Reality headsets.