Kinect for Windows launching February 1 at $249

The jazzed-up Windows PC version of Microsoft's motion-sensing Kinect controller will officially launch on February 1, priced at $249--$100 more than the Xbox 360 bundle.

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The jazzed-up Windows PC version of Microsoft's motion-sensing Kinect controller will officially launch on February 1, the company announced at the Consumer Electronics Show yesterday. Reflecting the fact that it's intended more for professional uses than home consumers, the Windows Kinect kit will cost $100 more than the Xbox 360 bundle--$249.

"The ability to sell Kinect for Xbox 360 at its current price point is in large part subsidized by consumers buying a number of Kinect games, subscribing to Xbox Live, and making other transactions associated with the Xbox 360 ecosystem," Kinect for Windows GM Craig Eisler explained.

Kinect for Windows, on the other hand, will be supported entirely by the hardware sales, as the software development kit and runtime will be offered free to developers.

While the beta SDK released last year supported the Xbox 360 sensor, the new SDK will require the official Kinect for Windows platform. However, things made using the beta for Xbox 360 hardware will still work for now, as Microsoft has extended the license by three years to June 16, 2016.

The Kinect for Windows sensor boasts the addition of a 'Near Mode,' which can see close objects better than the Xbox 360 version--down to 50cm clearly, or 40cm with a little degradation.

Microsoft also plans to introduce an academic price of $149 "later this year."

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  • reply
    January 10, 2012 5:45 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Kinect for Windows launching February 1 at $249.

    The jazzed-up Windows PC version of Microsoft's motion-sensing Kinect controller will officially launch on February 1, priced at $249--$100 more than the Xbox 360 bundle.

    • reply
      January 10, 2012 6:05 AM

      I like how Microsoft tries to spin the grossly inflated price, yet a product tear-down at the time of the Kinect's original launch determined that Microsoft spends roughly $50 to build one of them... At least now PC owners can be the next group of Lemmings to follow the Kinect hardware off of a cliff.

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        January 10, 2012 6:11 AM

        I believe it will be PC owners who actually unlock its true potential, in fact we have already seen the many things it can already do on a PC

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          January 10, 2012 6:24 AM

          Does this allow anything the homebrewers haven't already done though? This will give you a basic tracked skeleton, but with little opportunity to poke about in the insides and do your own thing. It's useful for adding body tracking to an app but, because it's a black box, not for doing anything new.

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            January 10, 2012 7:14 AM

            It allows a much finer control, plus it includes the API for simplifying requests for people who do not desire/want to write their own handlers for the tracking. It simplifies a lot of coding for people.

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              January 10, 2012 11:33 AM

              Their windows SDK for the 360 version was pretty bad, so I hope its more than that.

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          January 10, 2012 8:15 AM

          This 100%

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        January 10, 2012 7:01 AM

        And how much do you think it costs to manufacture a top of the line Nvidia or AMD graphics card? - you pay for the development.

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        January 10, 2012 7:08 AM

        because you only pay for the parts......not the R&D.

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        January 10, 2012 8:19 AM

        i'm sure you know that the price doesn't JUST reflect the cost of the parts, right. you're a smart guy that understands you also have to pay the people that research, develop, test, manufacture, package, promote, etc., right?

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        January 10, 2012 12:05 PM

        It is not even really spin. I figured that was the reason before I read the article, it is common sense.

      • reply
        January 10, 2012 4:46 PM

        This just in - company sells product for more than manufacturing cost. Details at 11!

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      January 10, 2012 6:18 AM

      what does this do for the PC

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      January 10, 2012 6:22 AM

      skyrim with 1:1 motion controls you'll be exhausted after 10 minutes of playing

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      January 10, 2012 6:26 AM

      So here's the stupid thing: how far away from your PC do you have to be to make this work well?

      The space requirements on the 360 kinect are insane, and that's for a home.

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        January 10, 2012 6:32 AM

        the stupid thing is that you didn't read the article

        The Kinect for Windows sensor boasts the addition of a 'Near Mode,' which can see close objects better than the Xbox 360 version--down to 50cm clearly, or 40cm with a little degradation.

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          January 10, 2012 6:59 AM

          but that would mean you'd be within 2 feet of your pc waving your arms like an idiot when you can just reach down and move your mouse. I guess it would probably be best suited for a media pc you have in front of your tv.

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        January 10, 2012 8:19 AM

        Real close apparently that is the diff with the hardware)or software) so they say.

        I am 90% getting one for use in game development(PC) so if I do and use it for a project I will let you guys know how close you can use it.

        I have the 360 one(works on the PC now) and can compare them and also see if its just software that makes it work closer or the driver etc.

        We shall see.

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      January 10, 2012 6:26 AM

      I would not be surprised to see Windows 8 to be very Kinect friendly.

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      January 10, 2012 6:29 AM

      What a stupid fucking idea.

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      January 10, 2012 6:35 AM

      lol at $250.

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      January 10, 2012 6:35 AM

      Fuckin lol at that price.

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      January 10, 2012 6:46 AM

      I cant wait to not buy this!

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      January 10, 2012 7:00 AM

      [deleted]

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      January 10, 2012 7:08 AM

      I could see this being useful for simulators, considering you don't have to wear anything to track head movements. But trackIR is still $100 less expensive at this point in time

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        January 10, 2012 7:12 AM

        yea it would awesome if it is as accurate and as responsive as trackIR. Way to expensive though at this point.

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        January 10, 2012 9:00 AM

        It needs to track at least @ 60fps with great accuracy (no difts) to compete with TrackIR. Not sure if Kinect can track that fast and accurate.

    • reply
      January 10, 2012 8:22 AM

      Brutal price unless --> "The Kinect for Windows sensor boasts the addition of a 'Near Mode,' which can see close objects better than the Xbox 360 version--down to 50cm clearly, or 40cm with a little degradation." = new hardware in the unit, but then I ask why the hell did they not add a close mode for the 360 too?

      Weird, its cool its they support the PC don't get me wrong but some things seem odd.

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        January 10, 2012 8:28 AM

        "but then I ask why the hell did they not add a close mode for the 360 too?"

        I thought the whole idea behind playing games on a console is because of comfy couch? who's tv is within 50cm of their couch?

        http://cohensfashionoptical.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/jerry-seinfeld-glasses.jpg?w=780

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          January 10, 2012 10:26 AM

          Kinect requires a good 8-10' in front of your TV. Many (most?) people have their couches at about 8-10' feet from their TV, which means you're only about 6' away if you're standing in front of your couch.

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        January 10, 2012 8:48 AM

        because if you're that close to it, you're not doing full body capturing most likely.

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        January 10, 2012 9:02 AM

        Hmm.. at that close, it should be able to do a semi-accurate 3d scan of a smaller objects... sounds like a quick way to make models for 3d printers!

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          January 10, 2012 10:16 AM

          Still wont register the back of the image though, giving it more of a 3d shell

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            January 10, 2012 10:18 AM

            You rotate the object around as the software refines the captured points.

            They've been able to recreate models of an entire room by having the kinect carted around the office.

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        January 10, 2012 11:32 AM

        wait for the after market "Lens kit" for the 360 version in 2 months.

    • reply
      January 10, 2012 10:21 AM

      Eh, I don't get the screams about price, it's just an RRP right? I doubt stores will actually sell it at that price, certainly after a few months, like digital camera RRP's are always immensely more then the store price.

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      January 10, 2012 10:24 AM

      I truly wish all motion controlled devices and games would be annihilated off the planet.

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        January 10, 2012 10:37 AM

        Yup. It's poor technology being perpetuated by the masses. It works well for about a handful of games and everyone buys the shit out of those. The executives see those numbers and think it's the next big evolution in gaming where in reality most games I've played using motion controls have been a massive step backwards.

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        January 10, 2012 11:07 AM

        Wow. Those were my favorite games this gen. Sucks for you, I guess.

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        January 10, 2012 11:14 AM

        theres are good uses for motion controls but the games need to use them better. its still being forced into games that dont need it.

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        January 10, 2012 11:47 AM

        High five, Motion Control hating buddy!

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        January 10, 2012 11:50 AM

        Why not just say you don't like shitty games? There have been excellent motion controlled games just like there have been excellent traditional control games

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          January 10, 2012 11:59 AM

          I don't like the mechanics of motion control. I like playing with a stationary controller/keyboard that doesn't require me to move around to do a simple in game action, doesn't have a shitty response, and doesn't limit you to the type of game you can play.

          And I also don't like how openly the big 3 embraced this technology, it really feels like future consoles are going to require you to use some sort of motion control.

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            January 10, 2012 12:00 PM

            So you don't like something like Rock Band drums? Because those are motion controls done very very well

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              January 10, 2012 12:47 PM

              I would say no, but I would also say that I don't consider Rock Band/Guitar Hero to be motion controlled. I never had to 'waggle' to do a guitar solo.

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                January 10, 2012 1:03 PM

                Okay so I'll go back to my original point that what you don't like is poor implementation. meaning poor game design. The controller is not at fault for a designer using it in a dumb way.

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                  January 10, 2012 1:10 PM

                  It is if the controller is limiting the design. People want all of these interactions in the games but the developers have to figure out how the hell they can make the controller actually do that and make it work in their game. As it turns out, that is likely a challenge that will never be overcome because most games have their characters doing superhuman things that motion controls simply cannot translate. So developers either make the game they want without motion controllers or their change the design of the game so that they can work around the limitations of human motion.

                  The 'well developers just have to figure out how to use it' died with the Wiimote. It's not going to happen because the motion controllers cannot do what the developers need them to do.

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                  January 10, 2012 5:26 PM

                  Yup, star power was an awesome use of motion control.

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        January 10, 2012 12:20 PM

        hello my future wife

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        January 10, 2012 12:53 PM

        you clearly haven't used Kinect + Netflix then

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          January 10, 2012 12:59 PM

          I've only had kinect for 10 days but this is the best use of it I've found. mainly for the voice controls.

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            January 10, 2012 1:15 PM

            It's absolutely the stuff they should have been selling kinect on, instead of that goofy arm wave crap

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              January 10, 2012 1:16 PM

              Yup, it's pretty interesting as a utility accessory. It makes a horrible video game controller though.

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                January 10, 2012 1:56 PM

                And welcome cetra00 to the "Hasn't played Child of Eden Club"!!!11111one

                It's not horrible, or even bad. It just has to be used correctly.

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                  January 10, 2012 2:00 PM

                  I have. Child of Eden plays better without Kinect. It's plays faster and is more responsive with a normal controller. The camera also isn't all over the fucking place like it is with Kinect.

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            January 10, 2012 1:21 PM

            'XBox'
            'BING TITTIES'

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            January 10, 2012 1:25 PM

            heck yes! i want my house to run off kinect.

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              January 10, 2012 4:22 PM

              I've actually said "TIVO. PAUSE" a few times in the past month. I can't wait till this level of voice control comes to more devices.

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      January 10, 2012 12:19 PM

      wow. it should be like a $50 device max. it's so gimmicky.

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        January 10, 2012 1:04 PM

        A good HD webcam costs more than that so I don't see why you would expect it to even be below $100

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          January 10, 2012 1:53 PM

          I doubt I'd take the thing for free so I'm not the person to ask. just seems like it would waste space more than anything.

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            January 10, 2012 5:34 PM

            Sweet. Please tell us what else you aren't the person to ask, so we can ask.

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      January 10, 2012 12:54 PM

      The close mode completely changes things with the kinect. I think it's going to do some pretty awesome stuff.

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      January 10, 2012 2:04 PM

      The real question is whether or not they will make available formal driver software so I can just plug in my XBOX one since no one uses it.

      Can't wait to use mine as a TrackIR for IL-2

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      January 10, 2012 4:15 PM

      I'm trying to think of a reason I would buy this instead of a new video card. And I've got nothing. Hell, I can't even think of a reason to connect it to my PC. Now, if I had my pc hooked up to the TV, then maybe, but I'm at a desk sitting less than 2' from the monitor.

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      January 10, 2012 4:33 PM

      I'm holding out hope that kinect + windows 8 will allow me to lay in my bed and say "PC launch netlfix" then "play first episode of sherlock"

      Then say "tweet- I'm watching Sherlock" and it does that in the background.

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      January 10, 2012 5:31 PM

      "Masturbation detected. You may want to view one of these..."

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      January 16, 2012 8:32 PM

      It had a slimmer profile and was able to work on a desktop sitting down I would probably consider it. There are lot of interesting things that can be done with this technology.

      I think at the current price point it is really targeting academics/hobbyists and enthusiasts. It will probably be full computer cycle before you see a OS depend on physical gestures.

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