Hoping to attach an old Kinect to the new Xbox One X that was unwrapped over the holidays? That might be easier said than done. Microsoft has ceased production of the Kinect Adapter, the USB accessory that allows the sensor to connect to the Xbox One S, Xbox One X, or Windows PC.
This was confirmed by Microsoft on the evening of January 2, in a statement sent to Polygon.
“After careful consideration, we decided to stop manufacturing the Xbox Kinect Adapter to focus attention on launching new, higher fan-requested gaming accessories across Xbox One and Windows 10,” said the Microsoft spokesperson. When asked whether the item will come back in the future, the representative declined to discuss the product’s future, only saying that the adapter “will no longer be available.”
The end of the Kinect era began in 2016, when the updated Xbox One S launched without the proprietary Kinect port built into the console. Instead, users of the sensor needed to plug it into one of the USB ports via the Kinect Adapter. Because of the minor annoyance, Microsoft offered the adapter for free to Kinect owners during the first eight months following the console’s launch. At the end of the promotion, the adapter became available for purchase for $40. With trickling support, the Kinect itself was eventually discontinued in October 2017.
With the scarcity of the Kinect Adapter, finding one comes at a high price. Third-party sellers on Amazon are offering new adapters for almost $300. That is more than seven times the original retail price, and about $100 more than a new Xbox One S.
For most gamers, this means that they can no longer play any Xbox One games that require the sensor. Certain first-party Kinect titles, including Zoo Tycoon, Disneyland Adventures, and Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure have been re-released without Kinect features. And for those who mainly used Kinect for voice navigation and Cortana functionality, neither of those require Kinect. Except for “Hey Cortana, Xbox on,” all commands work with any headset microphone.
Those who might be affected most, unfortunately, are rehabilitation patients. Companies like Reflexion Health have given the Kinect a second life as a medical device, with over 600 patients using it for physical therapy.