Kinect for Windows set for launch on February 1st

By Lee Kaelin on January 10, 2012, 9:30 AM

Taking the center stage during what will supposedly be Microsoft's last keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show, the company's CEO Steve Ballmer officially announced to those in attendance that the Kinect for Windows will be available for purchase from select retailers beginning February 1st.

Microsoft sold large volumes of the device over the festive period, totaling around 18 million Xbox Kinects shipped worldwide in the last year. The company also has the Guinness World Record for the fastest selling gaming peripheral. Considering its sales success and all the interest it received from the developer and hacking community, it comes as no surprise that Microsoft is releasing a Windows version.

You won’t need to wait long either, as it is now available for pre-order at Amazon for $249.99. That said, the price is rather high given that the Xbox labeled unit can be had for around half that amount.

The device features Near Mode, ushering in “a whole new class of close up applications beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360.” It has received further tweaks enabling it to see objects as close as 50cm without losing accuracy or precision, as well as various firmware changes. Very little information is available about those other changes but they are likely designed to take advantage of the closer proximity the unit will have to computer users sitting at a desk.

Despite the Xbox version of the Kinect working just fine with Windows computers, the new model is labeled as “PC optimized – not for use with Xbox 360.” It will be interesting to find out just how accurate that is given that those with computers and Xbox’s will be keen to use one device for both systems.




User Comments: 11

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Cueto_99 said:

<<The new model is labeled as ?PC optimized ? not for use with Xbox 360.?>>

This is just a way to make us buy one for the xbox and another one for the PC! it's hilarious and irritating the way Microsoft makes so much money from peripherals. If they'd care for the consumer the ad would have said: <<Compatible with PC and Xbox 360>>

Renrew Renrew said:

$249.99 and not compatible with X box? Is there an Apple lurking at Microsoft?

Cueto_99 said:

I was refering to this part of the article: "the new model is labeled as ?PC optimized ? not for use with Xbox 360.?

Don't know why it dissapeared...

Renrew Renrew said:

Cueto-99-I can still see that part of the article--FYI--my post is meant to be sarcastic.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

It all sounds very interesting to try on the pc, although not for 249.99. I do have one question though. Is there any software out that utilizes te kinect? I can't find any and this is pretty much just a 250 dollar paper weight without any software.

Guest said:

Quote: "This is just a way to make us buy one for the xbox and another one for the PC!"

True in a way, but some camera lens are very superior to others. For example, take a standard camera and move up to just a couple cm's (1 inch) away from an object. You will see its very blury. Now take a lens like Carl Zeiss lens and do the same thing, infintly clearer. I am assuming since the PC connect uses 3 of these higher end lens its the reason why its more money. Becasue of the focusing, a standard xbox kinnect couldn't do that. You ever see the XBox Kinnect pics that it takes of you? Horrible in every way.

I would also bet you can use a PC kinnect for an xbox but NOT an xbox kinnect for a PC.

Cota Cota said:

Or.... you could use your hi accuracy mouse...

Don't make complicated what is simple, that's a law on engineering.

howzz1854 said:

Cota said:

Or.... you could use your hi accuracy mouse...

Don't make complicated what is simple, that's a law on engineering.

i think the point here is that eventually you'll be able to use hand gesture to to control the OS or MCE sitting in front of an HTPC computer watching TV, blu-ray, and videos without use of a mouse or remote.

aspleme said:

I wouldn't mind getting a Kinect for the PC if there are programs that use it. On the other hand, $250 is awfully expensive for a webcam. What is in the PC version that makes it cost the same as 2.5 XBox Kinects?

Guest said:

Why would they make software for the PC model when they barley make anything worth playing for the 360 one?

Wait a few months and it will be 99 bucks cause it blows just like the 360 one.

RH00D RH00D said:

aspleme said:

I wouldn't mind getting a Kinect for the PC if there are programs that use it. On the other hand, $250 is awfully expensive for a webcam. What is in the PC version that makes it cost the same as 2.5 XBox Kinects?

Part of it would be what Guest explained about the lens. The other part that the article failed to mention is that the Xbox 360 version's price is lower because it is subsidized by the games you will buy for Kinect. Surely everyone will buy *at least* one game. So Microsoft still gets their money back after selling it so cheap.

With the PC version, Microsoft has no idea what people may or not buy after they have a Kinect, and since it's Windows Microsoft would never get any money from the software that people would buy for it anyway. Therefore, they have to sell the PC Kinect at a higher upfront price to make up for the money they would have made back through game sales with the Xbox version.

If the Xbox Kinect was offically compatible with Windows then people buy the subsidized Kinect (Xbox Kinect) and then use it with Windows, and never buy Kinect games, and Microsoft would never get that subsidization money. I think the reason they did it this way was mostly to protect themselves financially.

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