Microsoft is putting a lot of hardware out to pasture recently. Windows phones are officially a bust. Now the Kinect is also on the chopping block. Sales definitely did not reflect the better of the two products, of that I’m sure, but let’s not speak ill of the dead and instead share a few fond memories of the times we had with the first living room spy and at one point fastest selling consumer electronics device, the Kinect.
Let’s be honest there weren’t a whole lot of great moments with the Kinect. I think out of the five games I had for the thing, only two were worth putting in. My fondest memories were watching idiots at Best Buy fall all over themselves in the store when it first arrived. Power-Up Heroes was the only game I really enjoyed. It basically allowed to you play a fighting game against someone else in the room, but with super heroes that had different powers and skills that you could level up. Think and unlicensed and Xbox avatar animation dragon ball. It was a ton of fun. That’s pretty much where it ended though. There was a horror game that was so bad I don’t even remember the name. It was a great idea I was excited about, but ended up having the one problem that will always ruin a game: bad controls. In fact, this is probably more at the heart of the Kinects failure than anything else. As cool of an idea as motion controls have been in these iterations, they just aren’t that great.
Then there was the Xbox One debacle where Microsoft tried to invade the homes of their consumers with camera arrays and always on microphones. People don’t like that. At least, people don’t like to hear that is what they’re getting into. If you can manage to sell people on the features without explaining the fine print, well… There’s a sucker born every minute, and that’s a phrase that’s been around since before we crossed the 2 billion people mark, world-wide. Since we’re approaching 8 billion and counting you can move that number up to a sucker every 15 seconds. That’s also under the assumption that people have remained at relatively the same rate of suck…-ership, which I don’t think is a sharp argument if you look at the things apple is able to sell and what they sell them for. Unfortunately, Microsoft is often under far more malevolence scrutiny than most corporations, due to its status in the 90’s as the first big tech company facing monopoly charges. This misstep was the beginning of the end.
Not long for this world after the first adopters had purchased. These select few were often cajoled or berated into turning off their Kinects, after friends got tired of them talking to their Xbox’s during online games instead of their team mates. I swore several times if I heard “Xbox Snap” one more time in the vault of glass, I was out. On top of that, they didn’t really make any games for the new Kinect. It was an avoidable disaster, but a disaster nonetheless.
Anyone else have memories, fond or otherwise, of the fastest selling consumer electronics NSA tool ever?