While Microsoft may no longer require the Kinect sensor for the Xbox One console, that's not stopping the company from selling the Windows version of the same hardware. Today, Microsoft announced it is taking pre-orders for the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor for the price of $199.
Microsoft says that those pre-orders will begin shipping sometime in July, but did warn that quantities will be limited. When the shipments start, the company will also release a public beta version of its software development kit that will give developers a head start on making applications that work with the hardware.
Developers who have already received prototype versions of Kinect for Windows v2 as part of Microsoft's preview program several months ago will automatically get the final hardware in July. The company says:
For these early adopters, it's been an amazing six months: we've seen more stunning designs, promising prototypes, and early apps than we can count—from finger tracking to touch-free controls for assembly line workers to tools for monitoring the environment.
The new Kinect sensor, and the final version of its SDK, will be generally available sometime in the next few months. Microsoft has yet to announce when a stand-alone Kinect sensor for the Xbox One will go on sale.
What do you think about this expansion of the second generation Kinect motion gesture and voice capture hardware to Windows developers?