Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

Summary: Can it make the leap from a piece of geekery to a mass market bit of kit?


Microsoft has announced that it is bringing the Kinect motion sensing tool currently available for the Xbox 360 to the Windows platform.

The announcement was made on the Kinect for Windows blog:

Today, we are announcing that the new Kinect for Windows hardware and accompanying software will be available on February 1st, 2012 in 12 countries (United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom), at a suggested retail price of US $249.  Kinect for Windows hardware will be available, in limited quantities at first, through a variety of resellers and distributors.  The price includes a one-year warranty, access to ongoing software updates for both speech and human tracking, and our continued investment in Kinect for Windows-based software advancements. Later this year, we will offer special academic pricing (planned at US $149) for Qualified Educational Users.

A question you're probably wondering is why is Kinect for Windows more expensive than Kinect for the Xbox 360? Microsoft offers up several reasons for the $100 price hike:

  • Kinect for the Xbox 360 is subsidized by gaming environment around the platform - games, Xbox Live and so on
  • Kinect for the Xbox 360 is specifically designed for the 360 game console and is not licensed for general commercial use, supported or under warranty when used on any other platform.

The software development kit (SDK) and runtime for the device will be made available for free and there will be no associated license fees payable. What there is no word on is software ... although I'm sure that we can expect games to follow, given the origin of the controller.

Kinect for Xbox 360 has sold 18 million units in the past year, which earned it a Guinness World Record for the fastest selling consumer electronics device ever. How well the Kinect for Windows will sell is hard to estimate. It's an interesting device for sure, but for now it seems more like a development tool than an actual consumer product. And unless Microsoft can come up with a centralized and curated way to bring Kinect for Windows owners into contact with Kinectified software then it's hard to see how this device will make the leap from a piece of geekery to a mass market bit of kit ... especially given the price tag!

[poll id="746"]

Topics: Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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  • Wow!!!

    I can hardly wait to use Kinect with Word or Excel!
    • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

      Yes, forming the letters and numbers with your body language, one character at a time! Good excercise in the office, finally.
      • Yeah, it'll be great!

        I already know how to do the Y, M, C, and A.
    • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?


      You're forgetting about the voice control aspect of the Kinect, which is what would make it very useful on the PC, especially for people who suffer from paralysis, muscal dystrophy or other problems that make using a normal PC difficult.

      Would being able to DICTATE a document in Word rather than type it be useful? You better believe it would.
      Doctor Demento
      • Doesn't Dragon Dictation (or lots of other apps) already do that?

        @Doctor Demento
        And it's all software--no hardware involved.
      • Userama: Kinect does have a hardware advantage

        "The Kinect sensor's microphone array enables the Xbox 360 to conduct acoustic source localization and ambient noise suppression, allowing for things such as headset-free party chat over Xbox Live."

        I'm not convinced this is as important when you are sitting directly in front of the Kinect at your PC however it is possible that this hardware advantage could improve dictation accuracy.
      • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

        @Doctor Demento But that's a functionality that's already been available for years at a cheaper cost.
  • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

    $249 is a completely lame price. I'm not even sure I would buy at $100. Why?
  • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

    Well, I won't be doing anything with one that could be considered life threatening, so just sign me up for the Xbox version. =)

    This is like buying medicine for animals. Dogs and horses both need the exact same preventative medications, just you have to pay twice as much for the horse version.
    • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

      @Aerowind Well typically the dosages are much much higher (as a former owner of horses and current owner of dogs). But I can't validate that they are the same. I think many medications are completely different. I know the worming medication dose alone would probably suffice for 10 large dogs or more (assuming that they are the same, which I doubt)
  • until we can see what it does, there's no reason to buy it

    buying another overpriced gadget whose functionality is crippled by the lack of software that uses it and lack of integration to the OS makes zero sense. even at $99 there's no value if it doesn't DO anything
    • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

      @jsepeta@... It can do whatever you want it to do. Just make it do it.
  • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

    Kinect has endless possibilites..the software will follow...but the price is too high.
    I would buy one if its $125.
  • I will not be buying this

    Ignoring the facts that it is expensive and of questionable utility, the thing is too big for my setup and I suspect my setup is not that unusual. I use a laptop at home. Where am I supposed to connect my Kinect?

    This is not a problem with consoles. This is a big problem for users who only use laptops.
  • has anyone seen this demoed?

    understand for a game console, but on a desktop PC.. what does it do?
    • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

      @theFunkDoctorSpoc <br>Yeah, if you're gonna be using it on a desktop PC why bother, I agree. In my case I have HTPCs hooked to TVs which I have to control with a wireless keyboard - it works but it has it's annoyances. If someone could come up with an accurate speech recognition and/or motion control that makes usual tasks of browsing, opening up apps, playing movies and music, etc, I could see the value for this at least in my case.
  • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

    One would think that Microsoft would try to design built-in kinect enhanced webcam for laptops in order to facilitate support it by default in Windows 8. Instead they choose to sell Kinect at a relatively prohibitive price. We shall see if they can sell a lot of it.
  • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

    It is equipped with a close up lens instead of the regular lens that is in the Xbox Kinect. But definitely priced a bit too high at the moment. However, I definitely see a lot of possibilities among hobbists/home worker/exec ranks though. Pair this up with 2-3 projectors (LED), voice + gesture + in air keyboard, definitely would be an interesting setup.
    • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

      Agreed sir. I could see lots of applications for this. I have the XBox version and it is pretty impressive how it can track alot of stuff in the room visually along with the voice recognition. I've already envisioned how it could work with a multi video conference with someone using powerpoint. To me $250 is not that bad, but I can see regular consumers not wanting to do that. I would definitely love to learn to develop for it which is another reason I could justify that price.
      Those who hunt Trolls
  • RE: Kinect for Windows for $249 ... interested?

    Damn. If they could bring down the price, and equip them onto some WIndows 8 PCs.... I could see this as a nice way to interact with the Metro UI, kinda like in "Minority Effect".
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion