by Graham Pierrepoint
Video games continue to evolve before our very eyes, and while virtual reality may only just be taking more sophisticated strides forward thanks to the emergence of amazing technology in the likes of the Oculus Rift, the road to VR has hardly been a smooth one. You only have to look back twenty years to see Nintendo’s initial struggle with the lamented Virtual Boy to see just how far away we were from true VR – and while their groundbreaking Wii may have helped to bridge the gap with a form of ‘reality gaming’, other devices along the way have taken things one step further. With the success of the Wii came PlayStation Move, and from there, Xbox Kinect – a curious camera that actively mapped your movements and allowed you to become the controller in a range of different games.
This week, it’s emerged that Microsoft will no longer be developing power adaptors for the Kinect device – effectively rendering the hardware obsolete. This is disappointing news for many gamers who will have supported the gadget since 2010, when its emergence was met with genuine delight – games such as Kinect Adventures and Star Wars Kinect helped to cement the device as a goofy family mainstay – however, since then, a lack of development and apparent interest in the camera seems to be behind Microsoft’s decision to finally pull the plug.
Watch: Kinect Is Really Dead Now, Basically ▶
Microsoft is thought to be focusing now on current gaming needs as opposed to innovative moves such as the Kinect – effectively, gambles – which may come as something as a disappointment to some gamers. The Kinect has seen its fair share of controversy as well as praise, having been launched again with the Xbox One as an ‘always on’ device that could effectively (according to detractors) ‘spy’ on you. Advice at the time came in the form of putting a piece of card to block the camera’s view! The device’s slightly goofy reputation and such controversy took a little chunk out of the Xbox One’s credibility at the time, though it certainly hasn’t stopped Microsoft to continue as one of the leading forces in home gaming. The Kinect may not have been loved by all but it can hardly be denied that it perhaps deserved a little more attention, and lot more development, were it to weather the years. So long, Kinect – today’s gamers prefer sitting down!