Kinect Adapter Discontinued – Don’t Buy Xbox One X (Yet)
More bad news for Kinect fans as Microsoft has officially ended production of the Kinect Adapter. Although I suspect production was ended months ago as Microsoft haven’t had any in stock in the UK for months! I had pre-ordered the Project Scorpio Edition of Xbox One X but couldn’t get an Kinect Adapter until just before Christmas and I had to pay a lot on eBay for it. I know many other people are in the same boat. This is absolutely disgusting and Microsoft have actually broken the law. At least in the UK where they originally advertised that the Xbox One X wouldn’t require any adapters to use Xbox One accessories:
And now that they have discontinued the Kinect Adapter they are no doubt still breaking (at least UK) law by claiming that Xbox One accessories work with Xbox One. They can’t use the excuse “Well, there might be some on eBay for £100 or more that you can buy.” The fact is that Microsoft themselves aren’t selling an adapter REQUIRED for Xbox One S & X to work with Kinect 2 and play its games. They should have made as many Kinect Adapters as Kinect 2s sold. Not only that but they should have just given everyone with Kinect 2 a free adapter. This would have prevented people and shops somehow buying loads and selling them at extortionate prices.
My advice to anyone thinking of buying Xbox One X or S is to not buy one at the moment. Unless you’re prepared to pay extortionate prices for a Kinect Adapter. Instead I would wait until Microsoft announces Xbox VR or possibly even Kinect 3. (We can dream!) I would also advise everyone with an Xbox 360 and Kinect to keep them. There are still far more Kinect 1 games than Kinect 2 games. Plus, if you have a powerful enough PC or can afford to upgrade it/buy a new one, you may also want to consider buying VR now if you can’t wait for Microsoft to announce Xbox VR. Believe me, if you love or even just like Kinect you’ll go nuts over VR! Even though it currently doesn’t have full body tracking. (Except for hacks, ironically usually using Kinect. Or Vive owners using at least 3 Vive Trackers, but those trackers cost £100/$100 each!)
So Is Kinect Dead?
You may already have seen this news on other websites and, like with the previous news about the discontinuation of Kinect 1 & 2, they are proclaiming that Kinect is dead. This isn’t quite true. Yes, the Kinect 1 & 2 devices are “dead” as in they are discontinued. New games-wise Kinect 1 is pretty much dead as the only new game likely is possibly another Just Dance game. Kinect 2 however still has some games in the works, including at least Kinect Funhouse and COSMONAUT for example, so it should last at least another year. Also, there are in fact some PC Kinect games, which I’ll try to cover soon. So if you have already got a Kinect Adapter or can get hold of one for a reasonable price I would recommend maybe also getting a second Kinect 2 (as you can find them quite cheap now) and hooking it up to your PC for some extra games that might not make it to Xbox One. Plus of course consoles and accessories are never really “dead” as long as people keep playing them!
Where I really take exception with those other websites declaring Kinect dead is that “Kinect”, the technology, is actually very much alive and well. Microsoft are just currently taking it in a different direction. The current version of HoloLens has been officially confirmed as a Kinect v4 device. The sensors are just embeded rather than on external devices. Plus Microsoft is working on Kinect v5 for the next version of HoloLens.
Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition incorporates Kinect v4.
But more important than HoloLens for the general public at this moment are other Kinect v4 devices, the Windows Mixed Reality VR HMDs. They don’t use the full Kinect v4 from HoloLens though, just Kinect v4’s two inside-out tracking sensors and IMUs (inertial measurement units) for tracking your head and motion controllers’s positions in 3D space and their rotation. There are already around 200 VR games available for Windows Mixed Reality when including SteamVR games with official Windows Mixed Reality support. About another 200 more if you include most of the other SteamVR games that probably work OK anyway! Unfortunately of course these don’t support any Xbox consoles. At least not yet. I really hope that Microsoft announces VR for at least Xbox One X soon. I think it’s unfair to keep Xbox console owners from being able to play VR games for so long. And now that Kinect 2 is discontinued, Xbox One consoles are the only current-gen consoles without official motion control support! Whether Microsoft have a “Kinect 3” external device in development is currently unknown.
One of Kinect v4’s inside-out tracking sensors from the Acer Windows Mixed Reality VR HMD.
The Lenovo Explorer, Dell Visor, Acer, HP, ASUS and Samsung Odyssey Windows Mixed Reality VR HMDs and motion controllers.
How do you feel about Microsoft discontinuing the Kinect Adapter? Are you going to boycott Xbox One X until either VR or Kinect 3 is available for it? Let us know in the comments below or create a discussion in our General Kinect forum.