I hated Kinect, although I do give it some applause for at least trying. Kinect never really achieved the success of what Nintendo brought forward with the Wii that Microsoft hoped to capitalize on. Although, for a short time it was the fastest selling electronic consumer product in 2011.
Kinect incorporated an array of fancy tech like cameras that could detect motion, depth, and numerous other data that developers could then build experiences from the ground up. The second Kinect camera which was armed with infra-red, was powerful enough to detect pigment fluctuations in the skin to detect your heart rate. Applications like Xbox Fitness combined this data to create hellish experiences ( exercising.) , including a shooter that was called Blue Estate, and the yoga platformer Commander Cherry.
Kinect had it’s fans ( not me.) , but a series of questionable decisions at Microsoft combined with a lack of compelling and unique experiences ultimately doomed the product. With production of both the camera and the adapter now finished, Kinect will join the gang of products that had potential but was scrapped: These products include Microsoft Band, Groove Music, and Windows phone.
This is a farewell to Kinect, it’s gone but not forgotten. Goodnight, Sweet Prince.
The History of Kinect.
The Kinect was introduced at E3 2009, under the codename of Project Natal. Microsoft garnered an equal amount of intrigue and embarrassment as a result of the Milo & Kate demo, which was billed as a demo but it was a concept which never saw the light of day. The Kinect would never live up to that demo, which was one of the reasons why Kinect failed.
Peter Molyneux claimed that Project Milo would recongize the emotional tone in people’s voices and faces, and respond in real time. Project Milo and amongst other things would earn Molyneux a reputation for over-promising and under-delivering.
Almost 10 years later, Microsoft and other companies hasn’t realized this vision of the future, but in 2011 the Kinect went on to be one of the fastest selling accessory of the year and of all time. Microsoft went on to great lengths to market the Kinect despite it’s issues even enlisting big Hollywood celebrities like Jimmy Fallon to promote it to casual audiences, Microsoft even hosted a party in L.A to launch the accessory.
Reviews of the device were positive, I never really took an interest in it and just watched it from the sidelines. When I used the version of the Kinect with the Xbox One, I didn’t really like it although I saw the appeal of it.
When Microsoft launched the Xbox One in 2013, Microsoft launched a second version of the device and forced it upon people who went to pick up the console. Hardcore fans didn’t want the device, I didn’t want it but the Xbox One came with the thing by default which inflated the price of the console here in the United States to $500 USD, 100 dollars more above that of the PS4. Microsoft’s attempt to drive adaptation failed to go anywhere. In my opinion, this right here alongside the disastrous E3 2013 conference cost Microsoft the generation and contributed to the Playstation 4 being the highest-selling console.
It’s a shame because although I didn’t like it, I thought that Kinect had potential and showed great promise and if Microsoft hadn’t gone through with those decisions, I think Kinect would’ve reached the Wii status.
Goodnight, Sweet Prince: The Future.
The technology that powered the Kinect lives on in the Mixed reality thingie that Microsoft is pushing, technically Mixed Reality is Kinect v3. Hololens is powerful enough to track hand gestures, just like Kinect, and the Mixed Reality thingie has controllers that are far more accurate and response than what Kinect had.
With that in mind, Mixed Reality and Hololens feels far more promising than Kinect, at least when it comes to videogames. I hope it comes to Xbox so I can try it out, if it ever comes that is considering the Xbox One X has VR capabilities.
I don’t think that killing off Kinect would do serious harm to Microsoft in the long run, whatever resources that Microsoft had for Kinect will be repurposed for games and gaming which to be honest, Microsoft needs right now. Many people including myself will wonder what could’ve been, here’s to you Sweet Prince.