[update] Kinect for Windows is now available for pre-order from Amazon at $249.99
During Steve Ballmer’s CES keynote this evening (which was a wide ranging chat with Ryan Seacrest) he announced that the Kinect for Windows hardware and software would become available on February 1st. It’s set to unleash what we’ve coined the Kinect Effect even further beyond the 18 million Kinect sensors that have been sold to date.
With Kinect for Windows, commercial applications can be built that take Kinect far beyond the living room. During the keynote, Steve announced that Citi, Boeing, American Express, Unilever, United Health Group, Mattel and Toyota are just some of the companies we’re already working with to bring their Kinect ideas to life in revolutionary new ways.
The Kinect for Windows hardware and software will be available in 12 countries as a suggested US retail price of $249 and will be available in limited quantities to begin with through a variety of resellers and distributors. As Craig Eisler mentioned in an earlier post, Kinect for Windows also brings some new capabilities. The “Near Mode” capability enables a whole new class of “close up” applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360. This has been one of the most requested features from the many developers and companies participating in our Kinect for Windows pilot program. Near Mode enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeters.
There will also be hardware that’s been optimized for PC-centric scenarios - which you’re getting an exclusive glimpse of above.
You can read much more about tonight’s announcement over on the Kinect for Windows blog where Craig has a more detailed post up that also talks about the business model amongst other things.
If you’re here at CES, be sure to drop by the What’s Next area of the Microsoft booth where one of our partners, FaceCake is showing a remarkable virtual fitting room application that is built on Kinect for Windows.
$249 for the Windows one, $149 for the XBox? Near Mode must be pretty amazing for that kind of price increase. This is going to be a big non-starter in the PC world at that price. Very sorely disappointed...
Great news for me! Thanks to MS for bringing up this great idea. I can now buy Kinect and use it to my windows based PC.
I wait for sale, becouse I think $249 is too expensive for this thing. When Windows Kinect will be for the same price as Xbox version, I will buy It.