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Microsoft XBox One Kinect Will Not Work On Windows PCs 198

Posted by timothy
from the sir-you-need-to-get-back-in-line dept.
symbolset writes "Ars is reporting that Microsoft XBox One Kinect will not work on Windows PCs. It uses a proprietary connector and an adaptor will not be available. If you want Kinect for your PC you will need to buy a 'Kinect for Windows' product. Although the Kinect 1.0 for XBox 360 also had a proprietary connector it came with a USB adaptor for compatibility with older versions of the 360 that lacked the new proprietary port and PC compatibility was quickly hacked up by third parties."
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Microsoft XBox One Kinect Will Not Work On Windows PCs

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  • by maroberts (15852) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:54PM (#44127083) Homepage Journal

    ..to shoot themselves in the ass with their desire to compartmentalize everything. One reason the Kinect was such a runaway success was the fact that people thought of doing imaginative things with it and stretching its operational boundaries.

    • by Spy Handler (822350) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:59PM (#44127131) Homepage Journal

      they're just aping what Apple is doing. Oh Apple is dominating mp3 players with the ipod? Let's make the Zune! Apple has their own Apple stores? Let's open our Microsoft stores! Apple has proprietary connectors? Let's make proprietary connectors!

      • by crutchy (1949900) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @06:02PM (#44127175)

        ms fucked up when steve jobs died... they should have followed suit and killed off ballmer

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by guruevi (827432)

        Except that Apple doesn't have proprietary connectors. The problem is that MS is aping what Apple is doing way after it has become clear that it was a huge success. Apple also has lots of failures, Microsoft is just very risk averse and they don't want to take any risk in order to innovate.

        • Except that Apple doesn't have proprietary connectors.

          Name any smartphone that uses an iPhone connector, but isn't an iPhone. I won't wait though - still got another 50+ years on this planet, and I aim to use all of them.

        • Except that Apple doesn't have proprietary connectors. The problem is that MS is aping what Apple is doing way after it has become clear that it was a huge success. Apple also has lots of failures, Microsoft is just very risk averse and they don't want to take any risk in order to innovate.

          More Coke on the keyboard!

          Apple doesn't have "proprietary connectors" simply because Apple's self-designed connectors are proprietary solely to Apple devices.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 27, 2013 @06:26PM (#44127383)

      Oh, come on, that had nothing to do with it selling well - 99.999% of the Kinects sold were just plugged into an Xbox 360 and used for normal console games. It was cool that it worked on a PC and they released a Windows SDK, but that had almost zero to do with the actual units sold.

      • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @11:17PM (#44129113) Homepage

        Wait, let me fix that for you:

        99.999% of the Kinects sold were just plugged into an Xbox 360 and used for one or two console game and then left to collect dust after a few months.

        Because, neat as the technology is (and I have to give kudos to Microsoft, the Kinect is neat tech), it doesn't really add anything to most games. Hell, in most cases it is more frustrating to use the Kinect to control your character than the regular gamepad. Sure, the Kinect-enabled party-games were fun for a while - mostly to show off to your friends - but they quickly wore out their welcome as everyone gravitated towards more traditional games, be it Rock Band, Madden or Call of Duty. The most use I got out of my Kinect was when playing Mass Effect 3, and then only because yelling "quicksave" was the one thing that the Kinect made easier to do than navigating all those menus with a gamepad.

        With Kinect2 built into every XBOne ot will make it easier for developers to add the technology to their games but I have strong doubts that it will make motion-control any more /useful/.

        • What all the big 3 gaming consoles seem to be lacking is the ability to make menu selections with either the motion controller or the regular controller. Too time consuming when you have to home-in on a menu selection for each of several levels of menus. Let me use the regular controller for that stuff and keep the dedicated motion selection for the gameplay itself.
        • by bondsbw (888959) on Friday June 28, 2013 @12:40AM (#44129513)

          With Kinect2 built into every XBOne ot will make it easier for developers to add the technology to their games but I have strong doubts that it will make motion-control any more /useful/.

          Like GPS and accelerometers in mobile devices, if developers have confidence that more/all users will have access to a certain technology, it's more likely they will try to come up with useful ideas.

          Also, don't forget that the Kinect 2 is vastly improved over the Kinect in terms of depth resolution and AI capabilities. That alone could give developers what they need to take their games and other software to the next level.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            To me the whole point of a playing a video game instead of going outside is that I can run like a world class athlete by pressing B. Kinect breaks that.

            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward

              * by pressing Q, W, O, P.

            • by tlhIngan (30335)

              To me the whole point of a playing a video game instead of going outside is that I can run like a world class athlete by pressing B. Kinect breaks that.

              Who said Kinect required people to get their asses off the couch? There's certain a few games that do, but you'd be hard-pressed to accidentally buy "Dance Central" and expecting it to be a couch game. (Heck, I think Microsoft created a little box for the specs of the game called "activity level" to indicate how lazy you could be).

              Kinect, even the original,

        • That one always puzzled me too...

          There's an intrinsic reason why most gamers are fat bastards (me included incidentally), we don't like to move around much.

          If every game had to be played with Kinect, I think I'd give up gaming and go ride my bicycle - because at least I'd still get to sit down on my fat arse while exercising...

    • by OP is trolling (2965703) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @06:30PM (#44127415)

      ..to shoot themselves in the ass with their desire to compartmentalize everything. One reason the Kinect was such a runaway success was the fact that people thought of doing imaginative things with it and stretching its operational boundaries.

      Original article says they're going to release 2 different Kinects; one for Windows and one for XBox One... but hey, let's form opinions based on headlines and cherry picking quotes!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 27, 2013 @06:37PM (#44127473)

        Why? The XB1 is a PC, albeit a customized one operating in a walled-garden OS environment. Both have USB so interfacing isnt an issue. Greed-based pricing/licensing is the only reason they would need two models.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Xbox is sold at a loss and subsidized by the expectation of future game sales. The kinect 2 is an amazing piece of technology, that alone is worth thousands of dollars to a researcher, whose only other options until now have been sensors from specialized industrial suppliers with limited runs and excessive prices (we're talking $5k - $10k).

          What Microsoft obviously doesn't want people doing is buying an Xbox, using only the Kincect, and not buying any media. Thus Kinect for Xbox only works with Xbox, and
          • Xbox is sold at a loss and subsidized by the expectation of future game sales.

            Lets not get ahead its a PC in VHS case, massively overpriced compared to the competiton. Having none PC connectors is kind of sad.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            Xbox is sold at a loss and subsidized by the expectation of future game sales.

            Xbox hasn't been sold for years. Xbox 360 is profitable. Xbox One is powered by an APU and RAM isn't expensive any more, they are probably actually making a profit selling $400 consoles.

            What Microsoft obviously doesn't want people doing is buying an Xbox, using only the Kincect, and not buying any media. Thus Kinect for Xbox only works with Xbox

            No, Kinect for Xbox 360 works with PC, with community software. Kinect for Xbox One has been said by Microsoft to not work with PC, but that's also what they said about Kinect for Xbox 360.

            I know it's tedious to get these names right, because Microsoft came up with shitty names, but please try to do so anyway. If you expect

          • by icebike (68054) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @08:34PM (#44128335)

            That only makes sense if buying the Xbox Only version was cheap and easy. For sake of argument, lets say it is.

            It will take http://pinouts.ru/ [pinouts.ru] maybe a week and a half to post the specs, and some enterprising Chinese company will make a converter.
            Or you could bread-board your own.

            • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Friday June 28, 2013 @06:45AM (#44130747) Homepage

              The XBOX 360 pads used a cryptographic handshake to make sure no unauthorized 3rd party could make their own. It would be easy to make it work the other way too, i.e. prevent the Kinect working on a PC without doing the handshake which relies on a secret key hidden in the XBone.

              It took maybe 5 years for a Chinese company to make their own 360 controllers. Presumably the DRM on the new hardware will be better protected.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Also I imagine the final Kinect 2 for Windows will surely be less expensive than the new XBox. If I buy the XBox One just for the Kinect, everybody loses -- I pay extra for a console I won't use, and MS loses money on subsidizing unused hardware.

          • by exomondo (1725132)

            What Microsoft obviously doesn't want people doing is buying an Xbox, using only the Kincect, and not buying any media.

            And with the kinect for windows being cheaper than an xbox how do you figure this is something anybody would actually do?

        • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @08:31PM (#44128323)
          Why are people assuming the Windows and XBox One versions will differ only in connector?

          Kinect 1 was an add-on for the XBox 360. That means everything particular to Kinect had to be in the Kinect itself, for example some video processing capability. USB, after all, is a sucky interface for video transfer, and the XBox 360 had no particular capability to do the processing required by Kinect anyways.

          Kinect 2 is an integrated component of XBox One, so more of its processing is almost certainly offloaded into the GPU or other components of the XBox One console. Surely this will be cheaper than having separate (and substantial) RAM and processing inside the Kinect. But obviously the Kinect for PCs cannot take the same approach.

          Granted, I have no direct knowledge and am just reasoning this out. But if you're designing the console and sensor together it's hard to imagine it won't be cheaper to have a deeper integration of computing resources needed.

        • by jandrese (485)
          Because Microsoft has a vision where the Kinect is always and forever hooked up to the XBone, so allowing it to be used on a PC wouldn't make sense. It would break your console. So instead they're going to make one for a PC that you can buy that won't leave a XBone orphaned when you try to use it that way.
      • by naoursla (99850) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @06:57PM (#44127587) Homepage Journal

        They already released a Kinect for XBox and Windows.

        The Windows Kinect has a near-mode that the XBox one lacks.

        • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wSLACKWAREorf.net minus distro> on Friday June 28, 2013 @01:02AM (#44129601)

          They already released a Kinect for XBox and Windows.

          The Windows Kinect has a near-mode that the XBox one lacks.

          Also, Kinect for Windows runs the IR at 640x480. The Xbox Kinect runs at 320x240 (even though its sensor is 640x480) because the Xbox360 does not have sufficient USB bandwidth to handle 4x audio streams, and 2x VGA 60fps streams.(in theory, the Xbox can do just under 40MB/sec over USB2, but in practice, it's only getting half that).

          Kinect 2 for Windows requires USB3 because its cameras are high def, including the time-of-flight one.

      • by Ultra64 (318705) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @07:21PM (#44127795)

        "Original article says they're going to release 2 different Kinects; one for Windows and one for XBox One... but hey, let's form opinions based on headlines and cherry picking quotes!"

        I think you need to look up what "compartmentalize" means.

        He didn't say anything about them not releasing a Kinect for Windows. He just pointed out that you now need two separate but similar devices to solve a problem that used to be covered with a single device.

      • by wbr1 (2538558)

        ..to shoot themselves in the ass with their desire to compartmentalize everything. One reason the Kinect was such a runaway success was the fact that people thought of doing imaginative things with it and stretching its operational boundaries.

        Original article says they're going to release 2 different Kinects; one for Windows and one for XBox One... but hey, let's form opinions based on headlines and cherry picking quotes!

        Simple.. sure I can buy a windows model. But, what if I already own an xbone. Shouldn't I be able to use that kinect for tinkering, robotics, teledildonics, or whatever else? No, instead I have to pony up more money. Yay Ballmer.

    • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @06:55PM (#44127573)
      The people doing the most impressive/innovative things with the Kinect are research institutions and startups. Sensors like the original Kinect used to cost in excess of $5000 - $10000. I've seen some as high as $70,000 which are not as nice as the Kinect and don't offer the same developer resources and community support. At $199 they were a complete steal. Sensors like the Kinect 2 simply do not exist today, and several that are slated for release (which still don't match its capabilities) still run in excess of a grand.

      With that in mind, the $399 Kinect for Windows is still a complete steal. It's *the* most innovative and cheapest sensor for robotics, my field, period. The time of flight capabilities they added to the Kinect 2 are unheard of for under $6000. The resolution is unheard of for any price. I will be the first one in line to buy a PC compatible kinect for my robotics research, and I'll be smiling all the way home TYVM.
    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      You guys do realize they are making Kinnect for Windows available separately right? who gives a shit if you can't plug in the one from your Xbox.
    • by Teckla (630646)

      ..to shoot themselves in the ass with their desire to compartmentalize everything. One reason the Kinect was such a runaway success was the fact that people thought of doing imaginative things with it and stretching its operational boundaries.

      My Kinect is gathering dust. It was novel and interesting at first, but now it feels mostly pointless and gimmicky.

      I think it sucks that Microsoft is going to force people to buy a Kinect with the Xbone.

    • Doesn't the computer version have a more near sighted camera? You probably don't want a deep a field of focus for something you are going to use sitting at your desktop so it would likely be a different device you'd want anyways.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 27, 2013 @05:56PM (#44127105)

    How much you want to bet it's just USB with a funny shape on the end

    • by dgp (11045)

      I agree, the 4 USB lines are bound to be in the connector. I believe the original kinect connector also had lines for extra power, and other useful stuff. There are some legitimate reasons for a new connector, but lock-in sure seems like a major factor. Adapting to a PC USB should be easy.

      • by ericloewe (2129490) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @06:18PM (#44127311)

        The PC Kinect will use USB 3.0, no word on power delivery, but it could be through said USB 3.0 connection. The Xbox One version won't be very different, I guess, but they might complicate things with different protocols and out of spec stuff on the Xbox One.

        I guess we'll quickly know if they just used a proprietary connector and kept everything else.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 27, 2013 @06:00PM (#44127149)

    ...It seems Microsoft is dis-kinected from fans.

  • How long until the first USB / Kinect adapters pop up? Standards are a wonderful thing and should be honored.

    • Indeed - so is entrepreneurship. I'm sure some Chinese cable producer is gearing up right now.
      Why the heck MS need to go to an additional expense just to upset their customers eludes me...unless, of course, the windows/USB version will be much more expensive? FTA the only way to get it (so far) is via a 399 'developers kit' bundle...madness...

      Of course the real stupidity is that the vast majority of people would never had transferred the thing between two devices anyway

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by The Cat (19816) *

        Yeah because there sure as FUCK won't be an AMERICAN producer gearing up for anything, now would there?

        If China decided to stop making toilet paper, America would be covered in shit in 36 hours. This country has become so fucking worthless its comedic.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Paper products are one of the few things we still make here. TP in particular is often made out of pretty nice trees, because they make pretty nice asswipe. Too bad we don't just have bidets, which get your asshole cleaner than rubbing it with disintegrating paper anyway.

  • by flimflammer (956759) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @06:49PM (#44127547)

    Just because Microsoft isn't providing the adapter means little.

  • by bmo (77928)

    It's just like the good old days with DEC and the Connector Conspiracy!

    --
    BMO

  • I'm glad to hear that the new Kinect will have proprietary connectors. It saves me from the worry of somehow missing the Microsoft logo and accidentally plugging one into my PC instead of throwing it into the trash after smashing it with a sledgehammer and soaking it in a bucket of salt water.

    I'm a big game fan, but I will not touch an xbone or any of it's evil peripherals.

    I remember a few years ago, reading Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and thinking it was an overwrought bit of dystopian fiction. Now it

    • I have good news for you: The privacy problems with Kinect are related to the software, not the hardware or the firmware. Hobbyists and roboticists can use Kinect without fear of sending pictures of your peepee to Microsoft.

  • by Mike Blakemore (999177) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @07:06PM (#44127671) Homepage

    There are some differences between the PC version and the Xbox version. The PC version has "upgraded" firmware that allows for gesture recognition at closer proximities. Also, its about $100 more than the Xbox Kinect.

    I'm now using it for speech and gesture recognition in Touch Control System (TCS): a 3D game engine built for controlling electronics.
    http://hyperplaneinteractive.com/blog/tcs-in-depth/ [hyperplane...active.com]

    • by PPH (736903) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @09:05PM (#44128507)

      Just thinking out loud: The Xbox Kinect might be more (or less) than a Windows Kinect with an oddball connecter. Its possible that some of the Windows Kinect firmware functions have been moved into the Xbox and the Xbox Kinect lacks those functions. And can't be upgraded.

      Sort of like the old Winmodems.

  • The real question is whether the electrical interface is proprietary. Worst case, there's an encrypted handshake, like Nintendo cartridges or HDCP. But probably not.

  • by goruka (1721094) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @07:40PM (#44127977)
    For those of us who worked with Kinect, we know very well all of it's limitations. It's a promising technology but it's still very green and far from what it is advertised as. It pretty much only works if you are looking to the camera and waving your hands and legs. Any attempt to turn sideways or even put your hands together completely confuses the heck out of it (check their technology demo videos, such scenarios are all purposely avoided).
    There's even open source implementations of the pose recognition that work better (though they need calibration).
    By making it XB1 only hackers will not be able to see how much it really improved (likely not much judging by their videos). So far from what I can tell, only the APIs improved so it's easier to get data from it (full matrices, motion vectors and strain, which you could easily compute yourself anyway), and some stuff was added to detect heart and blood rate (likely based on this MIT stuff [mit.edu]. That's pretty much it.
    • by guruevi (827432)

      This stuff has been done in labs for years though. I work with something akin to a Kinect (it has a SCSI-2 adapter, that's how old it is) and it does the exact same thing, it can detect movements as small as 1mm, it even looks like a Kinect only it's 3 camera's and laser equipment are about 2 feet apart each (the entire thing is a 2m (wide) x 20cm (tall) x 40 cm (depth) square tube) and it needs an entire room dedicated to the movement. Scaling that down is fairly simple and as you said, there are open impl

  • With the Leap Motion coming out soon, I wonder if its sales will put pressure on Microsoft release a PC adapter (or at least a cheap version of the Kinect for PCs). A link about the Leap Motion for those who haven't heard of it: https://www.leapmotion.com/ [leapmotion.com]
  • by JohnnyMindcrime (2487092) on Friday June 28, 2013 @07:38AM (#44130915)

    ...I've played and worked with computers for about 40 of them.

    Mouse and keyboard will do me as input devices until the day I die, maybe a little bit of touchscreen and some voice input for the future to waken the good-for-nothing idle teenage carer to empty my bag.

    I'm buggered if I'm going to start deleting words in vi by lifting one leg in the air and gyrating my plastic hips three-times in a clockwise motion.

    Oh, and get off my lawn.

    • Maybe the Kinect can be programmed to identify your age by the onion on your belt (as that was the style of the time) and automatically, for example, increase the font size on your screen. Stuff like that.
  • If only there were some type of device which used two sharp edges and some sort of lever action to remove such "proprietary"plugs.

  • I'm sure the people who got into plugging their Kinects into things other than the X-box that it was marketed for will not be stopped by a mere connector. If it's still electrically USB then no doubt they will just cut the end off and attach a real USB plug. Those who still want to use it on the XBox can always attach a USB socket to the connector that they cut off to make an adapter to go back to the XBox.

    Some time after we see articles about people doing this all over Hackaday cheap Chinese XBox connect

  • This is what I see.

    Microsoft intentionally would tie the kinect to the Xbox One, because they know by forcing the inclusion of the device will likely create an overabundance of kinect devices that are not being used that people will want to get rid of. If they are also trying to sell them for PC, they had to make them non-interchangeable as otherwise the cheap secondhand marke that will come into being due to the forced inclusion with the Xbox One will generate would totally cannibalize all their potential

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