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Microsoft discontinues Kinect

Depth-sensing Xbox camera shelved after seven years and 35 million units sold

The Kinect's obituaries were written years ago, but the Xbox depth-sensing camera was technically alive until very recently. Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman and GM of Xbox devices marketing Matthew Lapsen confirmed for Co.Design that the Kinect has been discontinued.

Microsoft will continue to offer customer support for Kinect, but it has stopped producing the camera peripheral for the Xbox One. It halted production of the Kinect for Windows version of the hardware in 2015, opting to instead sell an adapter that would allow users to connect the Xbox One version of the hardware to a PC.

The Kinect launched for the Xbox 360 in 2010, and Co.Design reports that it sold around 35 million units over its lifetime. More than half those sales (about 19 million) came from the peripheral's first year and a half of availability on the Xbox 360.

The initial success of the camera was enough to convince Microsoft to bundle an updated version of it with every Xbox One, going so far as to build its user interface around the Kinect's voice command features. However, after the Xbox One was outsold handily by the PlayStation 4 at launch, Microsoft pulled the Kinect out of the hardware bundle and sold it separately. That allowed the company to match the price point of its main competitor, but eliminated one of the reasons Xbox One developers had to support the camera: the assurance that every player would have a Kinect.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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