News Article

Microsoft Creating Kinect Hardware Just for Windows

Posted Wed, 23 Nov 2011 by James Newton

The chips are up

The chips are up

Ready for its close-up

Kinect's had as much use on PC as it has on Xbox 360, and after embracing the possibilities with an official software development kit earlier this year, Microsoft is now putting together a version of Kinect specifically for Windows users.

New components and firmware mean the sensor will be able to focus on objects just 50cm from its cameras, greatly increasing its close-up accuracy. General Manager of Kinect for Windows Craig Eisler said:

We have optimized certain hardware components and made firmware adjustments which better enable PC-centric scenarios.

’Near Mode’ will enable a whole new class of ‘close up’ applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox. This is one of the most requested features from the many developers and companies participating in our Kinect for Windows pilot program and folks commenting on our forums, and we’re pleased to deliver this, and more, at launch.

How do you feel about Microsoft enhancing Kinect specifically for Windows instead of beefing up the Xbox 360 sensor?


Tags: Windows, PC, Kinect, Updates, Hardware.

User Comments


1. ThiMax Brazil 23 Nov 2011, 15:41 GMT

Awful,, they made the gadget for x360, and carry out improvements for windows???? what the hell is that????, a lot of users demanding improvements on space required by gadget and they ignore that... but for sell windows, everything is gonna be done?! I hope M$ remember that without X360 they wouldn't got all this success on kinect... nothing further...


2. mastodona United States 23 Nov 2011, 17:12 GMT

Agree with the guy above, its a disgrace. I wouldn't be happy about having to pay out for a kinect 1.1 on xbox either though, they should have kept its processing power onboard and sucked up any losses in profits by selling more, better games for a kinect that really works.


3. James United Kingdom 23 Nov 2011, 19:06 GMT

I think Microsoft realises that PC users have made Kinect very popular, and that giving them improvements first is a good way to make progress on the inevitable Kinect 2. Game developers are clearly still getting to grips with Kinect 1 — I think a new model and SDK might do more harm than good!


4. mastodona United States 23 Nov 2011, 23:15 GMT

The thing about pcs is generally you sit close to them with a keyboard and mouse - I'm not sure what ms is anticipating but I cant really see peopke flocking to get a kinect for their pc? Sure theres been some interesting hacks and stuff, but if kinect struggles to be a useful standalone alternative to a joypad, what chance does it have replacing a keyboard and mouse?! I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.


5. dirtyvu United States 24 Nov 2011, 20:12 GMT

all they're doing is making it a shorter USB cable, adding a dongle for Windows PCs, and augmenting the software libraries. the USB cable for the 360 is 9 feet long! Remember that the reason the most common USB cable length is 6 feet because some motherboard chipsets crap out when using longer USB cables. It's a YMMV based on your MB. Some people's PCs can handle really long cables, others can't.

I'm sure Microsoft will sell the shorter cable for people that want to connect their Kinect to the PC though you can already connect the Kinect to the PC as-is (as noted by the gazillion demos).

and there's 1 MB of nonvolatile flash memory for firmware upgrades to the current Kinect (in addition to the 64 MB of DDR2 RAM)

Leave A Comment

Please login to post a comment.