The Xbox Kinect is dead, Microsoft has confirmed.
The motion-tracking accessory will not be able to plug in to the upcoming Xbox Series X, the company has said, and games that require it will not necessarily be playable on the next generation of consoles.
Microsoft has committed to bring accessories and games for the current generation through to the next one, so that players don’t have to leave their purchases behind. But anything involving the Kinect is specifically exempt from that commitment, the company revealed in a blog post.
“It’s our intent for all Xbox One games that do not require Kinect to play on Xbox Series X at the launch of the console,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer wrote in a blog post that revealed a host of new details about the new console.
Mr Spencer confirmed to The Verge that there is no way for the Kinect to work with the new console, making explicit that the company was dropping support for the accessory.
The Kinect’s future had been in doubt for years, after the company largely dropped support for it in the Xbox One S and Xbox One X. Though the Kinect can be plugged into those consoles, it can only be done so through an adapter, and games involving the accessory have been few and far between.
When the Kinect came out for the Xbox 360, in 2010, Microsoft unveiled it as a way of taking on the Wii and spoke of it as the future of its console. It allowed players to control games by moving around in physical space, and used infrared lights and cameras to track people as they did.
A new version came with the Xbox One in 2014. But as the current generation of consoles progressed, interest in the accessory seemed to fall, and Microsoft stopped bundling them together before all but dropping support entirely.
The hardware was largely discontinued in 2018, when Microsoft stopped selling it as a way to control games.
But it has continued in a variety of other uses, including hacks put together by people who found new ways of using the Kinect to control things on their PCs. Some of the technology also found its way into Microsoft’s Hololens headsets.