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Microsoft has announced that it is no longer manufacturing the Kinect. The popular Xbox 360 accessory will no longer be made available to new users as the company has finally decided to shut down its production. However, Microsoft will continue to support Kinect for customers on Xbox, but ongoing developer tools remain unclear. The news was shared with Co.Design in an exclusive interview with Alex Kipman, creator of the Kinect, and Matthew Lapsen, GM of Xbox Devices Marketing.
As per the report, Microsoft's watershed depth camera and voice recognition microphone sold ~35 million units since its debut in 2010; however Microsoft will no longer produce it when retailers sell off their existing stock.
Taking a sneak peak in history, Microsoft Kinect was first introduced in the year 2009. The accessory saw the light of the day under the codename 'Project Natal', which was later changed to Kinect at the product's official launch during E3 2010. Kinect was a unique product back in 2010 as it is based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral that enables users to control and interact with their gaming equipment, which in its case is console or a computer without a game controller. Kinect's multiple sensors and cameras made it possible by sensing gestures and spoken commands.
The multiple sensors and imaging support made it a huge hit among the gamers as the product displayed some amazing motion tracking abilities to track a gamers' body movement. It was something the competition, i.e. Playstation and Wii simply couldn't match in that time.
The unmatched motion tracking abilities made Kinect the fastest selling consumer device in history. However limited content became the sole reason for its downfall and world moved on with other high-end gaming equipment.
Microsoft did try to make Kinect a mainstream product again and introduced an improved version with the launch of Xbox One; however, the steep pricing of the overall package gave consumers enough reasons to buy the competitor's Sony PS4. This is the reason the news didn't come as a surprise to us as once considered as a market changing product, Kinect had it coming anytime seeing the current market trend.