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.