Always look. From top to bottom: PlayStation Eye (PS3), Playstation camera (PS4), Xbox 360 Kinect, Xbox One Kinect.
About a year ago, Microsoft partially introduced the Xbox Series X (then known as "Project Scarlett") by highlighting the system's extensive backward compatibility: "Your games, your achievements, your progress, your accessories, your Xbox console experience: it all happens with Scarlett. "Today, however, the company emphasized a minor exception to this general backward compatibility rule: Kinect hardware and the games designed for it.
"It is our intention for all Xbox One games where Kinect does not have to be played on Xbox Series X when the console is launched (emphasis added)," Microsoft chief of Xbox Phil Spencer wrote in a sentence that was in a detailed blog – Contributed to the company's Xbox plans (including the upcoming xCloud integration with Game Pass). Spencer later confirmed and clarified this statement to The Verge, clearly saying that "(t) Kinect is unable to work on Series X here."
In a way, today's confirmation isn't a big surprise. We've known for months that the X series lacks the original Xbox One's proprietary Kinect port (which was also removed from the Xbox One S 2016 and Xbox One X 2017). However, Microsoft offered a USB adapter for the Xbox One edition of the Kinect until 2018, and third-party accessory manufacturers continue to offer similar USB hardware solutions (the Xbox 360 version of Kinect was developed for USB, but required an included one Power supply to work with older versions of the console).
In a sense, letting these adapters work with the Xbox Series X probably wouldn't have taken too much work. However, this would have meant emulation development, testing, and support work that Microsoft probably wouldn't want to do for a device that hasn't been manufactured since late 2017 and hasn't been bundled with Xbox One hardware since 2014.
In practice, the lack of Series X Kinect support affects only a few dozen games from the Xbox One library with hundreds of titles. Of these, the ever-popular Just Dance series is probably the one that is still in active rotation among many Xbox players, but these games have allowed players to use a smartphone as a controller for years.
Elsewhere in the blog post, Microsoft makes it clear that special Xbox One inputs like the Xbox Elite Controller and Xbox Adaptive Controller will continue to work with the X series, which is likely to be more relevant to more Xbox One users. However, we're still a little puzzled that Microsoft's admirable commitment to "full" backward compatibility omits one of the most unusual and memorable Xbox accessories.