While the first Kinect never quite found its footing on the PC, Microsoft hopes that with the new Kinect for Xbox One, developers will be able to create better motion-controlled PC experiences. As a result, Microsoft has begun taking applications for Kinect software development kits (SDKs) from now until the end of the July.
The program kicks off in November — alongside the launch of the Xbox One — and will allow any Windows developer to craft Kinect-focused games for the PC. The only caveat is the SDK will cost $400.
That $400 price tag will net any fledgling developers — who make their way past the application process — an alpha Kinect sensor for development and a final sensor at launch. As was mentioned, the Xbox One is currently slated to hit store shelves in November.
Additionally, the Kinect SDK will come packaged with private support from the Kinect for Windows engineering team, which will help developers make full use of the new Kinect’s bells and whistles. Private appears to be the word of the day all around, in fact, as Kinect developers will also gain private access to the Kinect API.
This VIP access presumably puts developers in control of some very powerful motion tools, both for gaming and general navigation. It might take some time, but this could be our first step towards more gesture controlled PC interfaces. Basically, it’s how we get to Minority Report.
It is important to note that while this Kinect SDK application process begins that Microsoft has yet to announce their Kinect functionality for the PC. In fact, a lot of the Kinect support on display at E3 was perfunctory, save for Harmonix’s Fantasia: Music Evolved.
Regardless, the Kinect peripheral is a requirement for Xbox One operation, and must be plugged in at all times. Microsoft says there will be ways of suspending or turning off the camera, but they haven’t gone into full detail as to how that particular feature will work. As a matter of fact, they have kept Kinect demos to a minimum overall, choosing to focus on the console and games.
What types of Kinect functionality would you like to see come to the PC? Do you think developers will actually use to SDK to create PC games that use Kinect?