The original Kinect for the Xbox 360 never shook up the gaming world as Microsoft hoped it would, but creative programmers adored its Windows equivalent. History may repeat itself, as Microsoft has released some information about the Kinect for Windows v2, and it looks an awful lot like the Kinect for Xbox One.
In a blog post, Microsoft detailed the upcoming peripheral and compared and contrasted it to the Xbox One version. The device appears functionally identical to its console-based brethren, but will give Windows developers a chance to play with very precise motion controls.
Aesthetically, the only difference between the Xbox One Kinect and the new Windows Kinect is that the power sensor is a simple geometric design rather than the iconic "X" of the Xbox product line. Otherwise, the device is the large, heavy black box that gamers have come to know and, in some cases, tolerate.
The biggest change from the Xbox One Kinect is that the Kinect for Windows v2 has a dedicated power supply; the Xbox One peripheral gets power right from the console. The power supply and plugs will vary by country, but the device supports voltages from 100 to 240 volts. It connects to PCs via a USB 3.0 cable.
Microsoft promises more updates before the device launches, which will likely be sometime within the next few months. If history is any indication, the Kinect for Windows v2 will be more of a productivity tool than a gaming peripheral, but once programmers get their hands on it, anything's possible.