Microsoft have announced over at their blog that Kinect for Windows is coming this February 1st in 12 countries including the UK, Japan, Australia, Germany, Spain, USA, canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, and New Zealand. Though i can see no listing for the hardware on amazon at this time, the price is said to be around $250, which will probably end up around £231 here (based purely on typical UK pricing, nothing official).
The reasons for the increased price are based on the lack of ecosystem and subsidising, after all Kinect for Xbox brings sales of Kinect games, and also helps sell Xbox 360’s. A lot of money went into the research and development of the kinect, and £100 price point of the original is still the cheapest by far for the technology, hence why it was so popular with hobbyists and hackers of robotics.
Along with the release of the hardware, comes new software, the SDK (Software Development Kit) which is free, but the big tough Micro-soft are stating that non-commercial deployment is for the new hardware, and not the xbox 360 Kinect. the Beta SDK can still be used for non-commercial deployment, and the licence is supported until june 16th 2016. The commercial deployment is also for the new hardware. So, whos going to offer the competition for new drivers for the new Kinect, for non windows SDK use? i’ve got a limbo code i can gift on steam. just saying.
A new blog post from MSDN suggests that the new SDK will still work with the Xbox 360 kinect, which makes the previous comment confusing to say the least, I’ll confirm when it’s out I guess.
So, i’m going to need to spend more money on a new Kinect, that any development is going to lock out the 18 million other xbox 360 Kinect users. though to be fair, i doubt many of them are using it on their windows machine anyway.
Lets see how it goes