Lauded and then hated, Xbox’ Kinect camera system is now -officially- no more.
Kinect might not have been a force for a few years now, but it was quite a breakthrough in its day. And it was both raved about by press and yes, even enjoyed by gamers.
The camera and mic array first arrived on the scene for the Xbox 360, as a kind of mid-stride refresh. It was meant to reinvigorate the console, which was already pretty popular. And in that way, it sort-of succeeded.
Kinect got people talking in a big way, and broke sales records for hardware peripherals. It was also an impressive piece of hardware, and many in the industry remarked that gamers were getting quite the bang for their buck with it.
There’s a ‘but’ to all this though, and it comes as the Kinect failed to really have staying power. The add-on was never really utilized correctly in mainstream blockbuster games, and its dedicated titles were hit and miss. That might be putting it lightly actually. Mostly, they stunk.
It was a shock to me that Microsoft released the Xbox One with a new Kinect included in the box. I mean, it wasn’t all that well liked at that point by… anyone actually. And to launch a new console that seemed to be focused around it? Not great.
Fortunately, it was mercifully short-lived, as the Kinect faded into nothingness almost immediately. Anyone I know that had one only used it for voice-control on the console itself, and even that got old fast.
And now, it’s dead
Sure it’s kind of been ‘done’ for a while now, but Microsoft has officially announced as of this week that the little guy is dead and buried. Is that a sad thing? Well it is in a way, I think. The argument could certainly be made that Kinect never really hit its stride, even though the original unit sold a ton.
So in that regard, it’s kind of sad to see it go. And in every other way, it’s not.