After discontinuing the original Kinect for Windows sensor in December last year, Microsoft is now discontinuing production of the new Kinect for Windows v2 sensor launched in July last year. The firm says the move is to "consolidate the Kinect for Windows experience around a single sensor."
The Redmond giant is now pointing interested users, mostly developers, to the Kinect Adapter for Windows cable, to be used in conjunction with the Kinect for Xbox One sensor.
The Kinect for Xbox One sensor, which began to be sold separately in October last year, costs $149.99 (Rs. 11,490 in India). The Kinect Adapter for Windows cable on the other hand costs $49.99 (roughly Rs. 3,100). The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor used to cost $199.99 when available, so it all works out.
The Kinect Adapter cable lets users connect the Kinect for Xbox One sensor to a Windows 8.0 and 8.1 PC or tablets just like the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor, and both the sensors are functionally identical - the company says its Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 works the same way for both sensors as well. Microsoft is also assuring current owners of the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor that support will remain unaffected.
Microsoft says the move is a part of an effort to "simplify and create consistency for developers". The firm's Kinect for Windows Team in its blog post announcement said it had seen great demand from the developer community over the "past several months", and had "difficulty keeping up with requests in some markets."
The Kinect for Windows Team added it saw the "developer community respond positively to being able to use the Kinect for Xbox One sensor for Kinect for Windows app development," and ensured the Kinect for Xbox One sensors and Kinect Adapter for Windows units are readily available in most markets. While this is true for the sensor in India, the adapter is not readily purchasable.