Microsoft stops Kinect for Windows production... because it's so popular

Kinect for Windows a

Yes, you did read that headline correctly. Microsoft has announced that due to the popularity of Kinect for Windows, the sensor will no longer be produced. While an increase in demand would normally lead to an increase in production, Microsoft is taking something of a different approach.

Rather than maintaining two Kinect product lines -- a model for Xbox One and a model for Windows -- the company will instead sell an adapter that allows the console sensor to be connected to a PC. Microsoft says that this will help to keep things simple and create consistency for developers.

An announcement on the Kinect for Windows blog points out that the Xbox One version of the sensor along with the necessary adapter are available in the Microsoft Store. Had the announcement been made a little earlier, it could have been mistaken for an April Fool, but the Kinect Team explains the thinking behind the decision:

Over the past several months, we have seen unprecedented demand from the developer community for Kinect sensors and have experienced difficulty keeping up with requests in some markets. At the same time, we have seen the developer community respond positively to being able to use the Kinect for Xbox One sensor for Kinect for Windows app development, and we are happy to report that Kinect for Xbox One sensors and Kinect Adapter for Windows units are now readily available in most markets.

Microsoft will continue to support the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor, so anyone who already has the Windows version need not rush out and buy the Xbox One model. Anyone looking to adding a Kinect Sensor to their PC, however, will have to splash out $149.99 on a Kinect for Xbox One as well as $49.99 for the Kinect Adapter for Windows. While the overall cost is much the same as the previous unit on its own, you'll need to make sure your computer has a spare USB 3.0 port.

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