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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