Kinect for Windows now available for pre-order, asks you not to use the Xbox version

We saw a Kinect device for Windows today, and we thought it meant something might be available soon, but we didn't realize it'd be this soon. Microsoft announced at CES tonight, during their final keynote that the device will be officially available from February 1.

Kinect for Windows is already available for pre-order, even though it was only just announced too. You can preorder the device on Amazon here for $249 USD. It seems a bit expensive compared to the Xbox 360 variety, however. Microsoft points out that Kinect for Windows is ONLY designed to be used with the SDK right now, and that it does not include any content at all.

The Amazon description says that;

  • Utilize Kinect skeletal-tracking, sophisticated microphone array, and other sensor technologies
  • Link computers to Kinect devices running Windows 7 and Windows 8 Developer Preview
  • Run applications built with the Kinect for Windows Commercial Software Development Kit (SDK)
  • Use the Kinect for Windows SDK to build applications with C++, C#, or Visual Studio Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
  • The sensor will only work on computers running the SDK software

Microsoft says that the Kinect will be available in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom but only in limited quantities intially. The company is warning against using the Xbox Kinect for development as it violates licensing agreements, and will not receive the software updates the Windows device does;

However, non-commercial deployments using Kinect for Xbox 360 that were allowed using the beta SDK are not permitted with the newly released software. Non-commercial deployments using the new runtime and SDK will require the fully tested and supported Kinect for Windows hardware and software platform, just as commercial deployments do.

The question is, will you buy the Windows Kinect, or will you just buy the Xbox one?

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28 Comments

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I'll pass for now... Kinect went down to 100 during the holidays and too late already got my second one. So I will wait for a sale for the certifed for windows model... jerks

Ask us to pay more after we have a comercial product. geez...

haha, them asking you not to use the Xbox version is funny. Someone will crack whatever software they implement to try and stop it from happening, but it isn't going to be stopped. People will find a way to make the Xbox version updateable

Lyric said,
haha, them asking you not to use the Xbox version is funny. Someone will crack whatever software they implement to try and stop it from happening, but it isn't going to be stopped. People will find a way to make the Xbox version updateable

You still don't get a commercial license with the XBox one. Have fun selling software based on a API you're not allowed to use commercially…

cleverclogs said,
The difference vs. Xbox kinect is this one is designed to be used at a minimum distance of just 50 cm.

"The new firmware enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision"

$100 for a firmware update?

BoyBoppins said,

"The new firmware enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision"

$100 for a firmware update?

And the new SDK (not the old beta one) and new commercial licensing so you can sell your apps.

FarCry3r said,
WTH with that "Developing..." mark at the end of the article? I noticed that on the other article too...

It means that the article is not finished which the reporter is adding more to this article when available. Just like you see on the news on TV that says "developing" on the news as well.

Unquestionably, this is price gouging. Perhaps this is why after boxing day, there continues to be no xbox kinect controllers available here about.

I've also posted this in Hardware Hangout (I posted it there since this *is* not only new hardware for PCs, but long-rumored/talked about hardware coming to Windows).

And you're oh-so-correct - the timing is very much a shocker. I was thinking after (not before) the public beta of Windows 8; if anything, it's FAR earlier than anyone expected (despite the hackery it's already been used for in the scientific community).

Dont know why its so expensive, wonder if they made the cameras 1080 and updated the software to do a better job with recognition, if none of these are true, it is hardly a good deal.

It's the same camera hardware, but with a short USB cable (And possibly the option of powering the device from only the USB cable?). However, the camera / sensor specs are exactly the the same.

The price is higher most probably because it's intended for commerical use, and not for general purpose use.

~Johnny said,
It's the same camera hardware, but with a short USB cable (And possibly the option of powering the device from only the USB cable?). However, the camera / sensor specs are exactly the the same.

The price is higher most probably because it's intended for commerical use, and not for general purpose use.

They've done the near field tweak though. So now it can be used from as close as 20cm or something iirc?

GP007 said,

They've done the near field tweak though. So now it can be used from as close as 20cm or something iirc?

As close as 40cm - but that's all firmware. That didn't firmware didn't exist with the 360 version as they spent most of their R&D creating full body skeletal tracking (..and of course, most people are more than 40cm away from their TV). Same hardware, newer firmware. The near-mode will work with the existing Kinect devices, as it's part of the SDK, and not a hardware feature.

~Johnny said,
$250? Suppose it does come with a commercial use license though...

and its not subsidized by the possibility of game purchases.. people buying this for developing are going to make their own.

~Johnny said,
$250? Suppose it does come with a commercial use license though...

Don't forget the work MS did to make it work closer to the device. That's gotta be some hardware tweaking with the camera and sensors etc.