Microsoft Delivers Kinect for Windows PC

by on April 1st, 2015
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The Kinect for Windows PC hits store shelves this February. With a redesign specific for computer use, the control system promises to offer an experience that gamers have had on the Xbox 360, and potentially ushers in a new era in application user interface and control.

The Kinect for Xbox 360 became available to consumers in late 2010. Arriving with an edge over the Nintendo’s Wii controls and the PlayStation 3’s Move, the Kinect simply uses a camera and microphone combination to detect motion and commands while removing the need for any handheld controls. Although the anticipation of the Kinect’s release and its potential were high, most titles to date (which mainly consist of exercise or dance titles) don’t exactly appeal to the masses of hardcore gamers. Not until the forthcoming release of Mass Effect 3 will serious gamers be satisfied.

Will Kinect appeal to Windows users? Even with the lack of groundbreaking titles for the Xbox 360, the potential has certainly been realized. As a matter of fact, since the Kinect for Xbox 360’s introduction, hackers and enthusiasts have found other uses for the control system on their computers. While the Kinect has been successfully “hacked” for computer use, some official modifications and tweaks will offer the Kinect for Windows a boost in performance. Near mode, for example, is an update that allows the camera to better sense activity closer to the lens with improved clarity – a necessity as users are normally in close proximity to their computers.

So what will users use the Kinect for Windows for? While there haven’t, yet, been any exciting software application or game announcements, the realization has come in the form of the Kinect SDK that Microsoft released in Beta last year in effort to get developers on-board. Additionally, with Windows 8 on the horizon, the Kinect will have a whole new platform to integrate with and entertain on.

The Kinect for Windows PC does also arrive with a higher sticker price – $100 more that the XBox 360 version. Microsoft says a lower price-point for the console system is directly related to supported transactions including Live subscriptions, game purchases, and more in the XBox 360 ecosystem. While home users may initially cringe at the cost, businesses may not hesitate if there is any true application appeal. If a strong catalogue of games and software applications follow, cost may not be as big a concern.

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