Microsoft has announced that Kinect is coming to Windows on February 1.
While you'll of course be playing games on it, as has been explained when the crossover was first revealed, there's more to it than just waving your arms to play Microsoft Flight. There are a number of office and communications uses for it as well, among other things. Some of the companies working with Microsoft on stuff for Windows Kinect include Boeing, Mattel and Toyota.
Above you'll see the box art, as the product is being repackaged for the PC crowd. What you won't see above, but will see if you visit Amazon, is a price of $250, $100 more than the peripheral costs on the Xbox 360. Despite it looking to be almost exactly the same device (albeit with a few minor changes to suit the difference in range and platform). And that same device working just fine on a PC, as hackers and hobbyists have been showing us for over a year.
We're checking with Microsoft to see if that's a typo or not. Or if it is indeed $100 more, what's so different to warrant the price hike. Near Mode and the SDK surely can't add up to $100, can they?
UPDATE 1- Microsoft's Larry Hryb says that while the Xbox 360 Kinect will work on PCs, the Windows version "will only work on computers running the SDK software".
UPDATE 2 - Confirmed for USD$249. Straight from Microsoft, here's why:
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. 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.