Is the Xbox Kinect Truly Dead, or Are We Being Punked?

Currently, there is a bit of news spinning around the Internet how Microsoft has ended manufacturing of the Xbox Kinect. However, I am unable to find any legitimate sources that prove this idea. You’d think with how popular the Kinect was back in 2011 that Microsoft would have some kind of statement easily accessible on their website.

Where is the Information?

UPDATE: After reading the article from Fast Co Design, I am still on the fence whether I believe it or not. Again, all that is stated is a supposed interview with no external claims to back up the story. I can write an “interview” with Jesus, doesn’t mean it actually happened. Nothing from Microsoft so far…but I’ll keep looking.

I’m not going to put out my sources behind why people are thinking the Xbox Kinect is dead. First of all, I cannot find any evidence to support their claims. Big websites that have a great audience should know better than to produce an article that has no basis in fact, or at least cite the topic.

Instead, most of them go on a tangent about why the Kinect may be bad, such as the accessibility from hackers. There’s plenty of links to support that claim, why not one that proves Kinect manufacturing is halted?

Still Searching for Information

I spent the better part of two hours looking at articles, scanning though social media and hitting every place I can think of to prove the point of the Xbox Kinect being declared dead. So far, I am coming up short.

Please, if anyone knows anything, feel free to send me a message. But bear in mind that quoting gaming blogs that still do not have links directly to prove the end of manufacturing are going to be ignored. Chances are, I’ve already read them.

Why Is the Xbox Kinect Important?

The first 30 pounds I lost were due to playing the Kinect on a daily basis. Tennis, Avengers, Kung Fu Panda and more were part of my regular routine. If Microsoft discontinues the product, I’ll have to find another method for gamifying fitness.

The biggest reason why I like the Kinect so much is because it engages me to move. I am greatly entertained by all of the game titles I own and often burn more calories than the most gruesome aerobic workout.

I am a firm believer in gamification across every industry. Multiple studies show how effective it is when it comes to productivity. This is especially true when it comes to fitness and health. So, why would Microsoft end production?

Possible Sales?

One of the reasons I find it hard to believe the Kinect is dead is because of the game makers. For example, “Just Dance 2018” just came out with compatibility with the Kinect. Coincidentally, this is one of my daughter’s favorite franchises.

Without input from Microsoft, I can only speculate why the Xbox Kinect may be doomed. Perhaps the sales just weren’t there for the company.

What makes this a non-point is how Microsoft doesn’t really have control over the popularity of the Kinect. They only manufacture the device. It’s up to game developers to really take advantage of the technology.

This reminds me a lot about when the Sega Dreamcast took a nose dive into the concrete of the gaming industry. At the time of its release, it was superior to the Playstation in almost every way in terms of functionality and features. It was the lack of game production and support that killed off Sega.

Yes, I am old enough to remember that entire debacle. While Sega had around 300 games available, Sony was clearing the 1,000 mark. There was simply more titles to choose from on the Sony platform. Thus, interest in the Dreamcast faded for a more versatile, yet weaker, system.

Lack of Interest?

I kind of covered this in an earlier statement. A lack of interest can surely hurt sales of both devices and games. I think it’s a bit on the sad part, though. After all, one-third of adults here in the United States are considered obese according to the CDC. So, wouldn’t gamers appreciate a platform to help them stay fit and entertained?

Could a lack of interest be centered more around the game developers themselves? If you don’t believe a product will be successful, it won’t be. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that is influenced by your mindset. This is why a lot of diets don’t work for some people.

If a game developer doesn’t believe the Xbox Kinect technology to be worthwhile, it will affect development of those games. Case in point, when’s the last time you looked at games for your smartphone? The market is saturated with games that seem identical to each other. This is because everyone wants a slice of the mobile-gaming pie.

Hacking Concerns?

There are sites a-plenty covering hacking the Xbox Kinect. But if that’s truly a concern, then why don’t we toss all electronics out the window? The Internet-of-Things is incredibly vast, which is why hackers are using botnets from these devices.

Microsoft even put out an SDK for Kinect development. This application is used to entice users to create their own possibilities with the unit. Coincidentally, there is nothing on the SDK site that states the Kinect is dead, either.

The truth of the matter is hackers will continue to be a problem no matter what device you use. In fact, I can almost guarantee that a hacker will find a way to take advantage of quantum computing or quantum entanglement. Humans are too resourceful, especially if there is something to be gained.

If hacking was such a concern, then why not release firmware and software to plug up any holes? If you can update a wireless router, why not a Kinect?

I’m not completely convinced that hacking is a contributing factor if Microsoft really did can the Kinect. It may be a talking point, but then again so is anything else that is hackable – such as your smart coffee maker.

The Future of the Kinect?

Until I get solid proof, I will take the Xbox Kinect death with a grain of salt. The majority of blogs I’ve come across so far all quote the same source, which doesn’t really show evidence to support the claim. Before you start sharing, always make sure your facts are supported.

And if anyone has a good source or concrete evidence, I would surely write an update. Send me a tweet with the link…I’ll check it out.

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Michael Brockbank

I have been playing games for more than 30 years. I wouldn’t consider myself a hard-core gamer, but I have brought the pain in my day. Now that I am rounding the horn at 40, I still enjoy everything from booting up the old Commodore 64 to exploring new titles in Steam. You’re never too old to enjoy a good plot and mind-numbing graphics.

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