Microsoft: Kinect Will Formally Support PCs

January 7, 2011

By Jimmy Thang

While the Xbox 360's Kinect hardware has been hacked to work on personal computers, Microsoft asserted it has official plans to bring the device to PCs in a "formal way."

When asked about the Kinect's potential future support with PCs by BBC at this year's CES, Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer said, "We'll support that in a formal way in the right time."

"[The Kinect] certainly started out with Xbox, very focused in on gaming," the CEO said, adding "[but] we're trying to do two major things though. We're trying to move beyond gaming to include the world of social, movies, TV, music and we're trying to make the whole experience accessible to everyone in the family, not just the traditional gamer."

Before jumping the gun with any specific details, Balmer exclaimed, "When we got an announcement to make, we'll make it."

Even though the Kinect is currently only meant for Xbox 360 gaming, that did not stop several modders from hacking the USB-enabled unit to work on PCs; as is evident in several interesting Youtube videos.

According to gaming news site, when the Kinect (formerly codenamed "Project Natal") was initially unveiled, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates stated the device would eventually be used "for media consumption as a whole." Gates gave some potential context for the future of Kinect and added, "even if they connect it up to Windows PCs for interacting in terms of meetings, and collaboration, and communication."

On a related note, PrimeSense, a private company that licensed that Kinect technology, recently partnered up with hardware manufacturer Asus to announce the Wavi Xtion, a similar motion-controlled device, for PCs.