After four years, there’s no longer a Kinect for Xbox One sensor in my living room.
The picture above isn’t some stock image of a Kinect sensor for Xbox One taken from the internet. It’s my personal Kinect, the gadget that I first attached to my television in 2013 when the Xbox One launched. To put this in its proper context, it replaced a Kinect for Xbox 360 that sat above my television from 2011.
I came to the Xbox One fully intent on using it as an all-in-one entertainment system. In my defense, that’s exactly how Microsoft was marketing the console back then. This Kinect turned on my television and let me move around the console with a voice command. In the early days, it also signed my girlfriend or me in when the other handed off the controller and turned off the controller altogether when we weren’t using it.
Of course, since then, Microsoft has slowly chipped away at what made it special. The company killed hand gestures for navigating Xbox in 2014, I think. My Xbox One S has an infrared sensor, so I don’t need the Kinect to turn on my television channel or change volume. To be honest, using Kinect for Party Chat was never that great. Finally, recent software updates have made voice commands straight useless.
My cousin loves his new, old Kinect by the way, and I love my clutter-free living room setup.