World in motion: Microsoft start shipping Kinect 2 to PC developers internationally


Xbox One has had its European release, which means Kinect 2 sensors are even now busy tracking Europeans’ intravenous liquids as they wander about their living rooms, informing their employers that they appear to be at the peak of health, contrary to earlier reports.

That’s more ‘Rear Window’ than Kinect for Windows, which offers a similar feature set coupled to the platform-exclusive experience of being able to turn your sensor off. It’s presumably this promise that’s had thousands of PC developers angling for a pre-release Kinect 2 kit.

Microsoft are in the process of sending out Kinect for Windows v2 Developer Preview kits to studios who signed up to a $399 programme earlier this year.

Each developer will receive an early version of the sensor, plus a copy of the Kinect for Windows software development kit and the promise of the final sensor when it sees PC release next summer.

The idea is that we’ll see a round of ace applications and even games developed well in time for Kinect 2’s full release – though it didn’t exactly happen that way last time. Still: Microsoft say they’ve seen a “groundswell” in Kinect for Windows support.

“We received thousands of applications for this program and selected participants based on the applicants’ expertise, passion, and the raw creativity of their ideas,” they wrote. “We are impressed by the caliber of the applications we received and look forward to seeing the innovative NUI experiences our Developer Preview customers will create.”

Kinect 2’s main talking points are a “dramatically” expanded field of view, precision motion tracking, 3D geometry, advanced noise isolation and, I kid ye not, night vision.

Microsoft namecheck retail, manufacturing, healthcare, education and communications as the sphere’s they’re targeting for the newly improved Kinect for Windows. That makes a sad kind of sense, when you consider that they’re hardly going to give up whatever playable Xbox One-exclusive Kinect games emerge over the next year or so.

Even so, perhaps we’ll be reporting on some enterprising indie hits or homebrew modding projects this time in 2014. What do you reckon?

Thanks, Develop.