Home Gaming Microsoft doesn’t want the HoloLens to be another Kinect

Microsoft doesn’t want the HoloLens to be another Kinect

3 min read


Remember the Kinect? Remember how it was revolutionary technology that forever changed the gaming landscape and created a new way to play games? Remember how it made games more fun and not a frustrating exercise that looked like a deleted scene from a Zumba video? Hoo boy, I wonder what those Capetonians next to me are cooking, because there sure is a lot of smoke coming out of their kitchen…

On paper, the Kinect was a wonderful idea. Motion-free gaming where you could wiggle your arms to get results. In reality, it made me hate life itself and ponder defenestrating my console. While the Kinect that came with the Xbox One featured not that kak anymore technology, it was still a frustrating experience to properly use if you weren’t ten years old/a contortionist.

The original Kinect however, is a legend in buyers remorse. This was something that just didn’t work as a gaming peripheral. And that’s something that Microsoft wants to avoid with their augmented reality device, the HoloLens. During a TED conference (via Recode), HoloLens creator Alex Kipman demonstrated more of the HoloLens hardware, turning his stage into a forest, the moon and the surface of Mars.

All cool stuff, but not available to the general public. And it won’t be for quite some time, as the HoloLens will be done when it’s done. “When I feel the world is ready, then we will allow normal people to buy it,” Kipman said at the Vancouver event.

It could be as soon as we say ‘yes,’ and it could be as long as a ‘very long time.’

And that’s a lesson learnt from the early launch of the Kinect. Look, Microsoft wanted something to combat Nintendo’s Wii console at the time, which was a game-changer thanks to the motion-sensitive controllers that came with it. And that’s what the Kinect was, a quick piece of competition. It may have sold over 10 million units within 60 days, but the public quickly came to hate the device after realising that they’d just purchased some snake oil. Something that was “not a pleasant experience” for Kipman and co.

“If a consumer bought it today, they would have 12 things to do with it,” Kipman said about the HoloLens, which has a $3000 development kit.

And they would say ‘Cool, I bought a $3,000 product that I can do 12 things with and now it is collecting dust.’

Look, if I see that the HoloLens has a Kung Fu Panda game attached to it, I just know it’ll be something that I will want to set on fire. I’d really like to avoid that.

Last Updated: February 22, 2016

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