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One of the only things separating the Xbox One from its competitors was the highly controversial camera device sometimes known as the NSA Spybox, but now it's no longer going to be exclusive to the Xbox One.
Engadget picked up news from Microsoft's official website, where they revealed that a developer kit for Kinect 2.0 would be made available beginning this July for $199.99.
If you remember from back in the day, Microsoft also made the original Kinect from Xbox 360 available for Windows, but it happened two years after the Kinect launched for the Xbox 360, and nearly 18 million individual SKU sales later, as reported by the Huffington Post.
In this case, we're not even a full year removed from the launch of the Xbox One and Kinect 2.0 is already ditching the exclusivity tag for a place on Windows' greener grass. This basically means that anyone using the Xbox One for an excuse to control TV on your TV or other media features via voice or gesture controls no longer has a leg to stand on. You'll be able to do all that fancy stuff right from your PC... if it's hooked up to your TV.
In fact, one of the biggest uses of the original Kinect on PC is using it for game design. That's right, the original Kinect's best unadvertised feature is for game design. Russian software development group iPi Soft have made a huge market for markerless motion-capture. Their software enables developers to bypass using motion capture studios by hooking up two Kinect devices and using them for 3D, markerless motion capture. It may not be great for games on the Xbox 360, but Kinect is perfect for capturing motions on PC.
The crazy part about it is that this seems like yet another move away from any confidence in the Xbox One's previous exclusivity.
Starting June 9th the Xbox One will be sold without Kinect. On the up and up it's already moving and shaking on Amazon for gamers who didn't want to give the NSA any free sex exhibitions in front of Hal's little cousin.
However, two separate polls are showing that large percentages of gamers still aren't interested in a cheaper, kinect-less Xbox One. One poll showed that 79% of gamers have no interest in purchasing the cheaper Xbox One, where-as another poll from German gaming site called GamePro asked readers about purchasing an Xbox One without Kinect, and 38.2% of participants had no intentions of getting an Xbox One. The majority felt that the PS4 was way too dominant, and 7% felt that Kinect was just a gimmick. Ouch.
Compared to the other poll, the German GameSpot poll did reflect more confident numbers from their gaming base, as 21.2% mentioned that they would be willing to purchase an Xbox One without Kinect; although 10.3% felt that they were only doing so because Kinect 2.0 was a “stillbirth” piece of technology and only weighed down the price-point of the Xbox One.
However, without Kinect, without Dead Rising 3, without any free-to-play games, without a lot of indie support and without performance parity to the PS4, there's not a feathered cap's chance of Prometheus getting back to Olympia that you'll find the Xbox One leading the console race anytime soon.
Rich from ReviewTechUSA believes that this news and these polls show that Microsoft is suffering its biggest drought from a lack of proper software support and... dun, dun, dun, exclusives.
With that said, Microsoft will literally have to drop megaton gaming exclusives at E3 if they want keep the Xbox One alive at this point, because right now it's being feature-liposuctioned more than a cadaver at a morgue.
You can pre-order Kinect 2.0 for Windows right now by visiting Microsoft's official website.