Microsoft will no longer be producing and selling the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor.
The latest Windows-specific version of Microsoft’s Kinect sensor, which enables you to control various games and apps with body motion and voice, was only released back in July 2014.
However, as part of its recent consolidation efforts, Microsoft has announced that it is to stop making and selling the device.
There will now just be the one Kinect sensor available to buy – the Xbox One version. This is “functionally identical” to the Kinect for Windows v2, and Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 works exactly the same with either.
Obviously you can’t hook this Xbox One version of Kinect straight up to your PC. To that end, back in October the company announced the Kinect Adapter for Windows, which lets you use the Xbox One model with your Windows 8 computer.
If you think that this spells the end for Microsoft’s seemingly unloved motion sensor, you’d be wrong. Microsoft used this announcement to confirm that it “remains committed
to Kinect as a development platform on both Xbox and Windows.”
According to Microsoft, it has seen “unprecedented demand” for Kinect from the developer community, and has actually had difficulty keeping up with requests for equipment in some regions.
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In particular, Microsoft wants to “continue working with the developer community to create and deploy applications that allow users to interact naturally with computers through gestures and speech,” and to be applied practically in a wide variety of industries.
Of course, as far as gaming is concerned, Kinect was all but killed when Microsoft opted to decouple it from its then-stuttering Xbox One console almost a year ago.