Kinect Is Finally Done!

Honestly, I’d almost completely forgotten about the Kinect before this morning. To me, the Kinect has been dead ever since the Xbox One (correctly) removed it as a required feature. Still, the news that they’ve discontinued its production did raise an eyebrow. To me, this is good news. While I’m glad that Microsoft was willing to experiment with something as out there as the Kinect, it just wasn’t a good device. Aside from just not being as accurate as it needed to be to make its games work, Kinect ended more than a couple of promising series thanks to its inherent wonkiness. Steel Battalion in particular comes to mind here. 

Video by YouTube channel: Alex S

Kinect’s name has been mud for several years now, but I still remember when it was kind of an exciting idea. The tech demo displays were never anything more than cringe-worthy, but I thought some clever developers might find some small ways to incorporate it into their games. Things like little hand-waves here and there (a la the Wiimote) could have added something, but I don’t think I ever saw a game implement it in so subtle a way. With Kinect, it was almost always all or nothing. Really though, wasn’t that the failing of all motion controls of the last generation? Instead of trying to use the technology to enhance the traditional controllers, they instead tried to replace them. Nintendo Switch seems to have the right idea, so maybe the Kinect will yet be able to live on as something smaller and more subtle.

What did you think of the Kinect? What about motion controls in general?

Lede image by Flickr user: Digital Game Museum (cc)

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Kariyanine says:

    To be honest, I liked the Kinect. I bought one when it released on Xbox 360 and wouldn’t trade the one that came with my Xbox One. Yes, there were a lot of bad games on Kinect but there were also a good amount of really good ones. Dance Central was (and in my eyes still is) the best dancing game. The Kinect Sports series was another series of games that the teams working on them put in the time to make sure the motion controls worked. Sure, just like with Wii Sports, they weren’t always 100% accurate but Dance Central and Kinect Sports were accurate enough that it was never a big issue. Still, too many developers tried to dump whatever they could on the device and (much like the Wii) became a haven of crap. With it being de-emphasized so quickly from the XB1, it never really got a chance to grow on that platform but by then I feel motion was done anyway. Still, I love being able to come down to my basement say “Hey Cortana, Turn On”, grab a drink, and when I sit down everything is ready for me. Or tell the box to pause my movie or show, or change the channel. The voice control has always worked excellent for me and I may even buy an adapter for the One X I’ll be getting in a couple weeks, just so I can still talk to my box openly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hatm0nster says:

      Hopefully the voice control technology will be integrated into future products. Motion controls had their chance, but for now it looks like they’re not going to catch on.


  2. Particlebit says:

    I was never a big fan of the Kinect. However, it’s always difficult to figure out why these peripherals fail. Is it because they are weak and forced, or because they are fighting against the inertia of regular controllers? Most are just actually not very good, but it’s always an interesting discussion.


  3. “The news that they’ve discontinued its production did raise an eyebrow” – I’ve not used a Kinect (like the featured image, I’ve only encountered one in a museum!) but it would be amazing if the Kinect could interpret raised eyebrows and shut the system down in response. Sorry, Kinect isn’t compatible with sceptical players.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hatm0nster says:

      It was always a hard sell. That’s probably why MS tried to bundle it with Xbox One. I think the chief problem with Kinect is that they were never able to justify its existence. What did it enable us to do that we couldn’t already do?

      Liked by 1 person

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