The company is choosing to focus on “higher fan-requested gaming accessories”.
Microsoft has confirmed to Polygon that it has ended production of the Kinect Adapter – the USB accessory required to connect the motion sensor to the Xbox One S, Xbox One X, and Windows devices – stating that it is refocusing attention on “higher fan-requested gaming accessories”.
Back in October 2017, Microsoft announced it had ended production of the core Kinect accessory. At the time, Microsoft stated it would continue to support Kinect users but it would appear that support is also beginning to wind down.
When the Xbox One S was originally launched, it came without the proprietary port necessary to directly connect Kinect to the console; for a time after launch the adapter was offered free of charge to customers upgrading from the Xbox One to the Xbox One S but this promotion was ended in March 2017, and has never been available for the Xbox One X.
Polygon notes that the accessory has actually been out of stock in several stores for some time now, leading to inflated prices on the online marketplace. It’s unlikely that this will abate with the formal announcement of the accessory’s discontinuation, so if you were planning on picking up an adapter but haven’t yet, you may find it’s a little more punishing to your wallet than you expected.
Although it isn’t possible to play Kinect-enabled games without the sensor, Microsoft has recently re-released several first-party Kinect games without Kinect functionality for the Xbox One X launch, implying that this has been on the cards for some time. Voice navigation is still available via headset microphone, and all commands apart from “Xbox on” will still function. For gamers who used the sensor as a webcam, Microsoft notes that support for USB webcams was added to the Xbox One in October. Gesture controls haven’t been supported since November 2015.
As noted previously, Microsoft are clear that although this is part of the closedown of Kinect as an accessory, the technology is still a core part of the company’s future, being used in the ever-evolving Cortana and HoloLens projects.
Matt Davidson is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter, if you like.