Microsoft halts production of PC Kinect

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Xbox one kinect 2

I don’t have a Kinect. You would think as the only woman in the team, they would have sent me one as well as a variety of fitness or dancing games. However, my Xbox One came solely with the console and controller. I still have mixed feelings at the idea of a camera in my living room – some aspects of “living” shouldn’t be seen by outsiders – but plenty of people swear by the power of the Kinect. However, for those who use it on PC, they may need to change their shopping patterns.

It’s not just gamers who use the Kinect. In fact, gamers generally laugh at it except for the ability to shout out “Xbox On” or “Xbox take a screenshot”. On PC, it serves a far different purpose. Rather than being used for games, many people have taken on the Kinect’s power for other uses. I saw in a promotional video shown by some Microsoft PR a while a back that it’s also used in operating rooms and other medical environments. But those hospitals may need to shop for the technology in a new part of the store.

In a recent post, Michael Fry said that the company has stopped production of the PC-specific hardware to consolidate the Kinect for Windows experience around one sensor. Going forward, the Xbox One Kinect will be the only one Microsoft sells. According to Fry:

Microsoft remains committed to Kinect as a development platform on both Xbox and Windows. So while we are no longer producing the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor, we want to assure developers who are currently using it that our support for the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor remains unchanged and that they can continue to use their sensor.

While this sounds reasonable, the pricing gets a bit odd. The Kinect as a stand alone device costs $150. The adapter to make it work with your PC? Another $50. So for the exorbitant price of just $200, you too can wave your hands in front of you and hope that the camera sees you.

I’m not sure many PC gamers will deign to use the Kinect. However, it’s interesting hardware in other fields of technology. Unfortunately, I’m just not sure why they need to make the adapter so expensive – does it do something that difficult?

Last Updated: April 7, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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