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Microsoft defends Kinect for Windows price hike, gamers find way around it

So. Kinect for Windows is an exciting thing, as revealed by Microsoft this week at CES. Somewhat less exciting is the price tag, which - at a whopping US$250 (RRP) - is US$100 more than you can expect to pay for the Xbox 360 version. Microsoft doesn't see a problem with that. Other people do.

According to a new interview with Gamespot, senior director of marketing and PR at Microsoft, Jose Pinero, doesn't believe that games are "the point" when it comes to using Kinect on PCs. Instead, he argues that the hardware is targeting companies without a major gaming interest, and that the new kit for PC contains software development tools, shifting the balance.

Now, please pause for a moment. The price hike is - in part - because of the included software and the tools to customise the Kinect hardware specifically for your purposes. Sounds reasonable enough, on the surface.

A little digging, however, and you learn that the Kinect dev kit is currently freely available via KinectForWindows.org, where it's been living for a while (whether or not it stays there is a different story). If you buy the Xbox version of the hardware and download the dev kit, you've potentially saved a pile of cash.

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