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Kinect for Windows $100 more expensive than Xbox 360 version
Kinect for Windows $100 more expensive than Xbox 360 version
January 10, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

January 10, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Kinect for Windows will retail for $249 -- $100 more than the price of the Xbox 360 version -- when the motion/voice control peripheral's PC edition releases on February 1 worldwide.

Though Kinect been out for more than a year now for its video game system, Microsoft says the $249 tag is justified, arguing that the accessory is "still value-priced" considering that the built-in technology costed "tens of thousands of dollars just a few years ago."

"The ability to sell Kinect for Xbox 360 at its current price point is in large part subsidized by consumers buying a number of Kinect games, subscribing to Xbox Live, and making other transactions associated with the Xbox 360 ecosystem," explains Kinect for Windows GM Craig Eisler.

He continues, "In addition, the Kinect for Xbox 360 was built for and tested with the Xbox 360 console only, which is why it is not licensed for general commercial use, supported or under warranty when used on any other platform."

Kinect for Windows, however, will feature a free commercial SDK, and Microsoft says it's already working with more than 200 companies (Toyota, American Express, Mattel, United Health Group, and others) on new applications that use the device.

"We are building the Kinect for Windows platform in a way that will allow other companies to integrate Kinect into their offerings and we have invested in an approach that allows them to develop in ways that are dependable and scalable," says Eisler.

Microsoft has sold more than 18 million Kinect for Xbox 360 units to date. It intends to release Kinect for Windows in 12 countries (the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the UK) on February 1.

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Iulian Mocanu
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He does have a point with the subsidizing bit. I mean, it's not like Windows actually costs anythi... oh wait, Ultimate costs more than an Xbox.

Terry Matthes
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In that price bracket that seems like quite a significant raise. I wonder if they are taking a loss with the 360 version hoping to make it up with 360 game sales?

Arnaud Clermonté
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That's what they are saying in the article (though they are not explicitely talking about "loss" )

Craig Dolphin
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When I read the price difference, I thought maybe the hardware specs were different: perhaps a higher def camera system, or a different physical configuration to allow for much short ranges between the user and the kinnect peripheral that might be expected with people sitting at a computer, etc. But from this article, it just seems that the hardware is the same, the price is higher, and the tech is already a year past it's due date. Given the inexorable downward trend for components, and economies of scale, seems like M$ really dislike the idea of selling these things for PC's.

No biggie for me though: I've yet to hear of anything kinnect-related that makes me want one.

Benjamin Quintero
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I smell another 3DS incident here. Just wait 6 months and pick it up for $150... or just wait for someone to hack the 360 model to function like the Windows model.

Unless there is something new in the Windows model (higher resolution cameras, etc) this price is not justified and the masses will rectify the discrepancy on their own.

Doug Poston
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From the Amazon page ( ):

This Kinect Sensor for Windows has a shortened USB cable to ensure reliability across a broad range of computers and includes a small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals. The new firmware 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. “Near Mode” will enable a whole new class of “close up” applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360.

Evan Combs
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I was hoping it was going to have a built in CPU, oh well.

Arnaud Clermonté
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As usual, people want to have a cake and eat it.

"I want the cheap hardware subsidised by games sales


the right to use that hardware the way I want, without even buying said games!"

There's selfish corporations making things for money...

and selfish consumers constantly demanding more.

Hakim Boukellif
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I don't think anyone *wants* hardware subsided by games sales. Corporations decide to do that completely on their own. Of course the alternative, selling it at a higher price, would result in lower sales, but that's just how things work: the more expensive something is, the fewer people will be able to afford it (or the fewer people will think it's worth the money, but that perception of value was created by companies selling platforms at a loss in the first place, so they've only got themselves to blame in that case).

I'm not denying that consumers want to pay as little as possible for things, but in the end it's the companies that decide whether it's worth it to sell something at a a loss. It's not the consumer's responsibility to keep a company's business model viable.

That said, it's not like I completely don't understand Microsoft's position. I don't think it's going to work, though. In fact, I'd be surprised if it takes more than a month after release for someone to make a custom driver that makes Xbox 360 Kinects compatible with Kinect for Windows software.

Arnaud Clermonté
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If you don't agree with the console business model,

don't buy console hardware.

It's not "the companies that decide". Consumers decide too.

warren blyth
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Looking forward to that "killer app" that drives this on PC. I haven't heard of one yet. (anyone?)

really doubt it will sell well until this slot is filled. (until then, the SDK will be the killer app? I'd guess they're gambling someone will make the killer app that will drive sales.)

my dream for a killer app:

I hope someone will make an app that uses kinect to monitor your posture, and notify you when you're slipping/slouching/leaning. (and also gathers stats on how often you slump throughout the day).

this could potentially saves you incalculable costs in back pain and old man hump. Could even give you a way to justify requests to the office purchaser for a new chair.

(if this app was made, potentially every office that cares about ergonomics might look into it - for every machine?)