Skip to main content

Kinect is discontinued, but developers haven’t abandoned it yet

two new kinect exclusives announced microsoft xbox one review console angle 2 1500x1000
Digital Trends
Microsoft recently announced the discontinuation of Kinect for Xbox One, the camera that was synonymous with the console at the start of the generation. But just because the peripheral is no longer being produced don’t mean developers have abandoned it. Studio Virtual Air Guitar has two Kinect-exclusive projects in the works, and it has no plans to drop support.

“Even though manufacturing has stopped, that doesn’t mean all the Kinect [units] out there have suddenly stopped existing,” said Virtual Air Guitar lead designer Aki Kanerva. “We continue to support Kinect, and we’ll keep making Kinect games for as long as enough people keep buying them.”

Right now, the two Xbox One systems being produced — the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X — don’t support Kinect by default. They require the use of a special adapter, and while this was initially available for free to those who owned an older Xbox, that deal has since ended. This means that anyone interested in getting an Xbox One and playing these games will have to either find an older model or purchase the adapter separately for $40.

The next Kinect game from Virtual Air Guitar will be Boom Ball 3, a ping-pong game featuring 50 levels and three difficulty settings; “normal,” “fast,” and “turbo.” The game also allows you to take a photo of “anything” with your Kinect and stick it on your in-game paddle. We can only hope players will use this tool as a force for good and not evil. It launches via ID@Xbox in December for $10.

Another project, titled Kinect Funhouse, will also release in spring 2018, though no details were provided on the game yet. One of the studio’s project from earlier this year was Air Guitar Warrior, a shoot-’em-up sidescrolling game which places you in the action with a variety of six-string axes to use as literal axes.

Though Virtual Air Guitar has carried the Kinect torch, Microsoft itself doesn’t seem too willing to support it in games anymore. While it was used in launch titles like Dead Rising 3, it’s now rare to see it used for anything other than voice recognition.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
Sony reportedly has a Game Pass competitor in development
PlayStation 5 side view

Sony is ratcheting up its competition with Microsoft's Xbox ecosystem in the form of a competitor to Xbox Game Pass, according to a report from Bloomberg.  The report, which cites "people familiar with Sony's plans and documents viewed by Bloomberg," alleges that the competitor, code-named Spartacus, will be a tiered subscription plan.

Expected to launch in spring 2022, Spartacus will combine PlayStation's two current subscription services, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, into one service. PlayStation Now has been seen as a failed competitor to Game Pass that lets players stream a limited number of games to their PlayStation consoles. According to the report, PlayStation Now will be phased out entirely, while the PlayStation Plus branding is retained.

Read more
The PS5 and Xbox Series X still haven’t convinced me to ditch my Switch
Person holding Nintendo Switch, looking at the home screen.

It's been a strange year for consoles. Despite the popularity of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, both of which had their first anniversaries this week, few consumers have been able to get their hands on one thanks to chip shortages and manufacturing delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite talk of the exclusive, high-tech features like ray-tracing that these consoles can deliver, developers and publishers have been forced to publish their games on both PS5/Series X and the last-generation PS4 and Xbox One in order to reach a larger audience. Despite both of these consoles being a year old, some are still referring to the PS5 and the Series X as "next-gen," and there are very few true exclusives for either platform.

In the middle of all this mayhem sits the Nintendo Switch, a four-year-old console that's still going strong despite its age. The Switch was also caught up in manufacturing delays and chip shortages, but because it has been on the market longer, the delays didn't make quite as much of a splash.

Read more
The best is yet to come for Xbox Game Pass subscribers
A character in Starfield.

We've all seen the threads from prominent gaming journalists and personalities, as well as developers, about Xbox Game Pass being "the best deal in gaming." And for what it's worth, all of that grandstanding on social media is true. Xbox Game Pass is a pretty incredible deal, one that offers subscribers access to a constantly changing library of games for a decent cost.

While it feels as though the service is everywhere now -- from social media timelines to commercials for games that proudly announce they'll be available the day they launch via Game Pass -- it hasn't met Microsoft's expectations. According to a recent report from Axios, subscriber growth for the service is a whopping 11% below where the company wants it to be.

Read more