We were told that it wouldn’t be until fall when the Kinect would be available as standalone “sold separately” accessory to the Xbox One, but it appears its Window counterpart is nearly ready for prime time.
Kinect 2.0 for Windows will be on sale starting July 15th for $199. Microsoft is selling it mainly as a way for developers to mess around with the tech’s applications, saying that the peripheral gives “more of the precision, responsiveness, and intuitive capabilities they need to develop interactive voice- and gesture-based applications for the Windows desktop and Windows Store.”
I’m now wondering if when the Xbox One Kinect finally goes on sale separately, if it will also be priced that high. When the peripheral was cut from the One, it knocked $100 off the price of the system. Assuming the bundle would still be the “best deal” to get a One with Kinect, I can’t imagine the standalone Xbox version would be priced any higher than $150. And still, given the trajectory of the device on the Xbox One, I’m not sure there will be much demand for it, unless Microsoft is plotting some grand Kinect-related project in the future. But if that was the case, I think they would have announced that rather than the separation of the console from the device.
As I reported yesterday, only a few Microsoft-exclusive games seem to be planning to use the Kinect these days, and even when they do, the functionality is hardly what can be called “essential.” Such is the case with Forza Horizon 2, planning to integrate Kinect with an AI GPS named ANNA. For the time being, it seems that Kinect will still be a draw for Dance Central enthusiasts, and not many others.
In terms of the Windows version, Kinect has always been at its most interesting when developers have messed around with it, and perhaps more cool applications of the device are still to come. Still, it seems to be a bit out of season given everyone’s newfound interest in VR, but I still believe that motion and voice control will indeed see widespread adoption…someday. Kinect, even in its upgraded 2.0 form, has proven that there’s a long way to go in terms of reliability for either gesture or voice controls, but the potential is still there, as it’s always been.
If you’re an interested dev, you can pick up your Kinect for Windows in about a week for $200, if you haven’t already hacked your Xbox One version.
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