Microsoft launches Kinect for Windows

Windows version opens the doors to developers looking to make the most of motion control

Microsoft has announced that the Windows version of Kinect will be landing in the UK on 1 February.

It's been given a price of US$249 so we'll have to wait and see what the exact pound price will be. Either way, the new Windows version will be more expensive than the Xbox 360 version, which Microsoft says is down to the Xbox version being subsidised by the sale of Kinect games and Xbox live subscriptions, plus the SDK and developer software that comes with this new version.

That's not to say that there are no differences on the hardware front – there are. The main difference is that the Windows version is designed to cope better with close up operation with a "near mode" that works down to about 50cm – something which the the Xbox 360 version was not so good at.

Microsoft is also pushing hard to get companies to expand the software offering for the device, even offering a development grant of US$20,000 to 10 companies to help them push the Kinect hardware in new directions.

So it looks like Kinect won't just be a toy for much longer, and we're looking forward to seeing what comes next.

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