Kinect is coming to PCs. Microsoft announced in their keynote at CES yesterday that it will be rolling out a Windows-specific version of its Kinect mo-con device on February 1st, complete with a Software Development Kit. There's no licence fee for developers looking to get involved, and the flashy video that accompanied the announcement (not to mention countless YouTube clips of creative application) showed just how versatile a device Kinect can be.
The bad news?
It's priced at $249, which might seem a bit steep at first, especially when compared to the Xbox 360 device's $149 price point.
There's a reason for this, though, and it's partially because there's a slightly redesigned camera in this one, a camera that allows for a new feature called 'Near Mode', which allows the camera to be used as close as 50cm away. Additionally, Microsoft aren't looking to use Kinect For Windows as a huge gateway to marketplace purchases and LIVE subscriptions as the device has encourage on the Xbox 360.
"The ability to sell Kinect for Xbox 360 at its current price point is in a large part based on a consumer buying a number of Kinect games, subscribing to Xbox LIVE and other transactions associated with the Xbox 360 ecosystem," said Craig Eisler, GM for Kinect For Windows.
"With Kinect for Windows, we are investing in creating a platform that is optimised for scenarios beyond the living room, and delivering new features on an ongoing basis... We have chosen a hardware-only business model for Kinect for Windows, which means that we will not be charging for the SDK or the runtime; these will be available free to developers and end-users respectively."
Students, though, will be able to buy a Kinect camera for Windows later this year at a reduced price of $149.