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Microsoft Discontinues Production of the Kinect

About 35 million were sold

Microsoft officially discontinued production of the Kinect after seven years and about 35 million units sold, the company recently told Co.Design.

Speaking to creator Alex Kipman and Matthew Lapsen, GM of Xbox Devices Marketing about the decision, the outlet says once stores' current stock runs out, that's it for the machine. In it's lifetime, the Kinect sold around 35 million units. 

However, Co.Design points out the Kinect's impact on the gaming hardware market will live on. The peripheral's core sensor – the Kinect v4, which is soon to be replaced by the v5 – is used in Microsoft's Hollow Lens augmented reality glasses. Not only that, the team responsible for making the Kinect has since gone on to develop other technology for the company, such as the "the Cortana voice assistant, the Windows Hello biometric facial ID system, and a context-aware user interface for the future that Microsoft dubs Gaze, Gesture, and Voice (GGV)."

According to the post by Co.Design, the Kinect's influence outside of Microsoft has been huge as well. Per their report: "Technologically, it was the first consumer-grade device to ship with machine learning at its core, according to Microsoft. Functionally, it’s been mimicked, too. Since 2010, Apple introduced the Siri voice assistant copying the speak-to-control functions of Kinect, and Google started its own 3D tracking system, called Project Tango (which was founded and continues to be led by Johnny Lee, who helped on the original Kinect). Vision and voice systems have become nearly ubiquitous in smartphones, and they’re gradually taking over homes, too."

The Kinect sensed the dimensions of a room and its inhabitants. It was often used to cycle through the Xbox dashboard by waving hands or using voice commands. It also was used – less often – in games that utilized motion controls. While it appears to have sold well, the peripheral never took off the way its $500 million marketing budget seemed to think it would, with few games actually making substantial use of it.