It wasn’t long ago when Microsoft announced that the Kinect 2.0 would be making it’s way to Windows, though the company stated that the sensor wouldn’t become available on PC until the fall. Now, Microsoft has announced that the Kinect 2.0 will be releasing on July 15 at $199.
Microsoft has stated that the Kinect for PC is primarily for developers, allowing them to test out the sensor’s functionality and did deep into what the peripheral can do for their Windows applications. According to the company, the Kinect gives, “more of the precision, responsiveness and intuitive capabilities they need to develop interactive voice and gesture based applications for the Windows desktop and Windows Store.”
Some were expecting the sensor to be cheaper than $199. This was primarily based on the $100 price cut received by the Xbox One without Kinect, which lead many to believe that the camera wouldn’t be priced any higher than $149. It seems likely that Microsoft still wants people to purchase the Xbox One with Kinect since it’s better value to buy them together instead of separately.
However, demand for the peripheral has been pretty low which probably prompted Microsoft to release it on as many platforms as they can. One of the biggest complaints about the Xbox One was the fact that consumers were being forced to purchase an item that is not necessary to use the system which was why many peoople were happy to see Microsoft release an Xbox One without the Kinect.
Motion controls are still considered by many including myself to be a gimmick that doesn’t add to a gaming experience. Microsoft appears to understand this and are beginning to utilize Kinect more for applications and day to day functionality. Even with this in mind, the Kinect 2.0 is still imprecise when it comes to voice controls and the negative stigma behind the Kinect may sway consumers away from purchasing the sensor.
While the Kinect is no longer mandatory, it’s still unknown whether or not Microsoft are going to outright abandon the Kinect. Given the massive amount of R&D put into this camera, Microsoft are probably going to try and squeeze as much value out of that investment as possible. Not many upcoming Xbox One games are utilizing the Kinect, so unless Microsoft has an ace up their sleeve