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XBox (Games) Entertainment Games Hardware Technology

Kinect Is Really Dead Now, Basically (gamespot.com) 110

Microsoft has confirmed that it is no longer producing the Kinect adapter that is needed to connect the Kinect to an Xbox One S, Xbox One X, or other Windows device. This comes after Microsoft announced in October 2017 that it was killing off the Xbox One's Kinect camera. GameSpot reports: "After careful consideration, we decided to stop manufacturing the Xbox Kinect Adapter to focus attention on launching new, higher fan-requested gaming accessories across Xbox One and Windows 10," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Polygon. The representative declined to say if Microsoft would ever bring Kinect back. However, the company confirmed that the adapter "will no longer be available" to purchase.

Kinect Is Really Dead Now, Basically

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  • A shame, really (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IRGlover ( 1096317 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2018 @05:07AM (#55854327)

    A bit of a shame really. While it was a useless gaming product, it was actually an interesting and useful device for creating body tracking or depth mapping software as these capabilities were wrapped in a pretty straightforward API.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > creating body tracking

      Body tracking for a hologram is pretty weird though...

      (Reportedly a major Kinect market is Japan where the otaku use it with a Win PC freeware called MMD, to create 3D models and dance videos of the eternally 16 year old virtual j-pop starlet called Hatsune Miku. She is a piece of music synthesis software who has no tangible body and performs as an advanced projection in "live" concerts but the fans want their own doujin.)

    • Useless gaming product? My kids played with it for hours.
    • by lord_mike ( 567148 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2018 @09:31AM (#55855151)

      The Kinect was probably the most innovative thing Microsoft has ever done. It was amazing that it worked as well as it did. I will never understand why its mere existence was so hated by so many people. Microsoft, of course, also shares the blame for mishandling the Xbox One version, and then running away from this amazing tech due to a few vocal complaints.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It was able to tell how many people were in front of the TV, what they were doing, and send that information back to a server.

      • It's because they weren't creative enough. They implemented it in only the most gimicky ways, and it was aftermarket use (that made Microsoft no additional money) that really made it shine on the PC. Someone will create a product almost as good or better as this source has gone away from a corporation that could not use it effectively.

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        The XBOX One + Connect was one of Microsoft's missed opportunities.
        It could have been an ideal smart home hub as well as a game system. It had very good voice control as well as the motion sensing. The Xbox has standard USB ports so you could have added any interface you wanted to it for home control.
        Add in the fact that they never really made it a viable Roku competitor for video or ever got a good music service going and it just becomes so sad.
        Kind of like WindowsPhone which was a good OS but lacked apps.

    • by phorm ( 591458 )

      It wasn't useless, but it was definitely under-used (and hard to make use of). In the face of emerging modern VR, it looks like it's something that MS doesn't really want to sink a lot of money in anymore.

      This is sad though, because even though the current VR stuff is great, I've often caught myself thinking that something like Kinect could augment it better. For example, most VR kits involve holding some sort of controller and/or vests, sensors etc to determine body motion. This is something Kinect did pre

    • I wish it was easier to use on Linux, especially to control Kodi. I've tried to hack together multiple solutions with no success.

    • I wonder how much of the decision was due to Apple. For those that don't know, MS didn't come up with the technology originally; the licensed it from a company called PrimeSense. Apple bought out that company in 2013. While the purchase would not have affected the MS license of the current technology it might have limited -any technology upgrades that MS might have negotiated later. Apple as a company doesn't license out their technology very often. Now this wasn't just a move by Apple to harm MS; Apple's n
  • Such a shame... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03, 2018 @05:07AM (#55854329)

    ...Kinect Party is one of the most accessible games ever made for young kids, even my 2 year old could join in enthusiastically - "Daddy - Birds on the Sofa!", "Watch out Daddy Lava on the floor!!!"...ah well...

    • Re:Such a shame... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by _merlin ( 160982 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2018 @06:28AM (#55854487) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, I don't get the Kinect hate. My brother went down the Xbox path because of the Kinect and the superior dancing games it supports. My kids had plenty of fun playing them at Christmas. It's not something I'm into, but my brother and my kids sure have fun with it.

      • Re:Such a shame... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2018 @06:46AM (#55854533)

        The hate was mostly from more hardcore gamers. Motion controls are suboptimal compared to a traditional controller since they provide less fine control, and they kept producing games that forced you to use a control scheme that required the motion controller. Dancing games would be one of the few exceptions because there the body motion is the whole point.

        • A major problem IMO was that the Kinect is terrible at UI navigation, and Microsoft forced that, instead of allowing (and even forcing) controller use for UI segments. Kinect Party and Avengers: Battle for Earth are great partly because they allow navigating menus with the controllers, instead of struggling with the Kinect for that. Disneyland Adventures is terrible because most of the game is spent using the Kinect for avatar creation and navigation, so the actual fun minigames (and they are fun) become a

        • While there was some hate from hardcore gamers, the main problem with the public in general is that it came standard with the XBox One which made it $100 more expensive. Many people didn't feel they should be forced to pay for an accessory they may not have wanted. Rather than sell a version that didn't have it, MS just made it mandatory by making it always on, always listening. That turned off many people. By the time MS undid all of that and released a model without the Kinect, many people had bought the
      • Depends on the context: the tech is undeniably cool(I picked one up when I heard they were getting axed just to play with that); but Microsoft was uneven in exploiting those cool capabilities and the device gained a rather tarnished reputation back when it was a mandatory pack-in as part of Microsoft's "Um, Xbox becomes all-things living room dominance hub?" scheme at launch.

        If you want what it does it was quite competitive indeed; but otherwise it was pretty much a $100 and mandatory microphone. Given th
      • My brother went down the Xbox path because of the Kinect and the superior dancing games it supports.

        I thought the 'Xbox path' was genetic. You learn something every day.

      • Yeah, I don't get the Kinect hate. My brother went down the Xbox path because of the Kinect and the superior dancing games it supports.

        Those dancing games are totally fabulous, how could people hate that?

      • Disclaimer, not an Xbox person (#PCMasterRace), but the hate is pretty easy to explain.

        Mass Effect 3, even ending notwithstanding, had a rather notable response on a number of fronts. A whole lot of them had to do with the time constraints, difficult to achieve under normal circumstances, but far harder when EA and Microsoft were telling them they needed to add trendy stuff too, it took away development time from things that really could have used more development efforts. One of the things that fell square

    • Kinect is the only reason I own an Xbox 360, and the lack of backward compatibility for Kinect titles is the reason I haven't upgraded to a One. Sure, it's getting less use now, but when the kids were smaller, the Kinect got a lot of action. For controller based games I have an HTPC.

      It's unfortunate that Microsoft never understood what could be done with it, and what shouldn't be done with it (UI navigation).

    • by mnt ( 1796310 )
      I found the lag between jumping and the avatar jumping very noticeable, but it created some entertaining evenings.
    • I second this. I bought it for my kids years back and they STILL love it. It's got the best "The Floor is Lava" too! Apparently the developers initially created it with the expectation of people trying to stay out of the lava, but the playtesters instead seemed to enjoy jumping IN the lava, so they added the extra bit where you could crouch into the lava and jump out to make a splash. 10/10 devs.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    And it never saw a PC or an XBox. Too bad, very good product.

    • How did you connect to the Kinect One without a PC or XBox (I thought it was very USB dependent)? Any specific hardware you can recommend? I would like to get a kinect hooked up to a project I'm working on. Mostly want to get the depth/color/IR imagery, don't need (although would like) all the post-processing (skeleton, etc.)

  • What about tools like skype. Does the Xbox have other video accessories?

  • Unfortunately... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mikael ( 484 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2018 @05:55AM (#55854419)

    ... while it was a great method for user input and getting players to move around rather than remain sitting, advertisers were starting to use to the device to collect marketing data about users:

    "Xbox One can essentially work like TV that watches you, bringing marketers a huge new trove of data,"

    https://kotaku.com/xbox-ones-t... [kotaku.com]

    • by decipher_saint ( 72686 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2018 @10:47AM (#55855607)

      Pretty much. I know a couple of devs who found creative uses for it on PC.

      For the most part I was ambivalent toward it until it became an inseparable part of the already disastrous XBox One launch platform. They practically handed Sony market share. I think the hate for it mushroomed after that point (to be fair the seeds were already planted between gamers who enjoy sitting motionless versus any kind of motion control.)

      Microsoft is a frustrating company to follow around, they sometimes come up with brilliant ideas and then utterly demolish them through incompetence.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    of communicating with my computer thru insults... and the computer actually listening

  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2018 @07:48AM (#55854703) Homepage

    Not having used a Kinect before, I wanted to see just how special this adapter was. Apparently Kinect uses a special plug that combines USB and 12V power. Microsoft's adapter for the Xbone version presents this as a USB 3.0 B jack.

    There seem to be a lot of third-party adapters out there for the 360 version. They have a wall wart, an orange-tongue "USB" jack for the Kinect, and a USB A plug. It is also possible to hack off the end of the connector, which seems to only use USB 2.0, and splice in a 12V 1.5A power supply and USB connector.

    So basically this is just another special proprietary variation of a standard plug, simply because they didn't want to have a second plug in the Kinect for power. Not that it's anything new, Microsoft has been pulling this bullshit ever since the original Xbox used plain USB with a two special connectors for its controllers. (To be fair, it probably had better durability for insertions/removals.)

    At least with USB 3 for the Xbone version, why couldn't they have used the official extended power management support? Then at least it could use some kind of standard power inserter or powered hub. Or was that from USB C?

    As long as China can find a supply of connectors for the Xbone version, I'm sure you will see replacements out there soon.

    • by phorm ( 591458 )

      Yeah, Kinect is cool but I really do *hate* the non-standard plug. I have most of my game stuff etc in a separate room with AV routed through an amp and then all the various plugs available on a wall plate with keystone jacks. That is, all the plugs except:

      a) The older Gamecube-type controller for my wii (wiimotes are fine, and it otherwise has USB), so that's only for playing the older GC games
      b) The sensor bar on the wii, not a huge issue as it's a 2-wire connection that can rather easily be rewired to ei

    • It's actually a USB standard plug. It's just supremely obscure (USB C made it obsolete), and I cannot find anyone else using it. But the USB standard committee put it forward.

      • by Megane ( 129182 )

        Please do find a reference to it being standard. From the pictures I've seen, it is not the USB 3.0 version of the B connector. (The B connector is the one that you find on the back of most ink-jet printers.) That one has the bump on top centered over an old B connector, while the Xbone Kinect plug has its bump off to one side, over something that looks like an A jack on the back of the console. USB 3.0 didn't need a special A connector, because it was already backward-compatible with the extra pins.

        The ad

    • Do you have a link on the adapters for the XBox One Kinect? I couldn't find any.

  • Embracing, tainting, extinguishing.
  • As happened with 3D TVs, I waited for them to get the tech right, then put off a purchase because we were upgrading from an apartment to a house so we wanted to get a larger 3D set. By the time the house was ready 3D TVs were killed off and the ones with the specs I wanted were no longer available as "new old stock."

    Now that I am going to be ready to upgrade from my Xbox 360 to an Xbox One along with other AV upgrades (mostly to get 4K capability) they're killing off the Kinect.

    The universe hates me. :D

    Obvi

    • Good luck. I tried to buy an adapter last month. Everywhere was sold out (including the MS store).

      Although, if you find a bunch, please please let me know.

    • You can find videos on the Web how to DIY, and since it's relatively simple someone will probably offer an adapter. On the Kinect side it's USB3.0 type B (looks like it's glued but it isn't, you just need to pull it strongly, and can put it back after), but two of the pins are +12V DC and ground. One solution is to open the Kinect and soldier those two wires in, then connect to a 12V 3A DC supply, and the rest is just USB 3 type B to standard USB type A to your XB X/S or PC.

  • What are those exactly? What are fans requesting? If Kinect was hated because it required bodily movement are the new devices going to be controlled by the undulation of fat folds and farting?
    • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

      What are those exactly? What are fans requesting? If Kinect was hated because it required bodily movement are the new devices going to be controlled by the undulation of fat folds and farting?

      If your claim were true, the Wiimote would not have been a huge success. Try again. The Kinect was well known for not tracking body movements very accurately.

      • What are those exactly? What are fans requesting? If Kinect was hated because it required bodily movement are the new devices going to be controlled by the undulation of fat folds and farting?

        If your claim were true, the Wiimote would not have been a huge success. Try again. The Kinect was well known for not tracking body movements very accurately.

        Pretty sure you have that backwards. You have to buy an additional sensor pack for the Wiimote to even get it to remotely track right. And I can tell you right now that my nephew can kick your ass at Wii bowling without making any more gestures than you would make while playing CoD on the xbox. If you have the kinect set up in the right space it tracks the body quite well. If it's in too small of a space, or you're too close, it can certainly miss actions.

    • "What are fans requesting?" Answer: Gooble Boxes.
  • ...the Nintendo Power Glove. Truly a sad loss for us all.
  • by zarmanto ( 884704 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2018 @12:59PM (#55856669) Journal

    There's a component which I believe is missing from this story: Apple purchased PrimeSense [theverge.com] back in 2013, which is the company which used to license the Kinect sensor array technology to Microsoft. Apple is now using the same patented tech in their FaceID system on the iPhone X.

    Those are the facts; now on to the speculation: I would expect the licenses which previously covered the Kinect have since expired, and the two companies have been unable to negotiate mutually beneficial license terms, going forward. (Or to put it more bluntly: Apple probably just told Microsoft to kindly shove it.) Further, Microsoft no doubt knew this was coming well before now, so Microsoft has probably spent the past several years investigating whether or not it could forge a way ahead for the Kinect which does not rely upon the PrimeSense patents... and this new information seems to imply that they never found one.

    • Kinect v2 has different tech from Kinect v1, from a different company. Primesense was pretty upset when MSoft decided to switch techs and were desperately looking for a buyer. I imagine if there's anything in the Primesense contract that would have prevented MSoft from developing v2 and v3 the split wouldn't have happened.

  • Saw one of these in Melbourne casino on every table, they also had a normal camera but perhaps depth or infrared? Was beneficial to them?

    It was the newer, large model for the Xbox One.

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