As an unintended score the current Kinect could connect to PCs, the next-gen Kinect however, will not. Instead Microsoft will release a separate Kinect for Windows.
Kinect for Xbox 360 currently has a proprietary connector, but still comes with an adapter allowing it to be plugged into a USB port, which PCs have many of. As a PC gamer I cannot imagine any reason whatsoever why you’d want to do that, but hey, whatever floats your boat. Apparently this happens often enough that Microsoft has decided to make two separate versions of the new Kinect.
“The Kinect for Xbox One sensor will not have an adapter that allows it to plug into a computer,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars Technica in an e-mail. Instead, “the new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will connect to computers using a standard USB3 port.
The new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will be a fully tested, licensed, and supported Kinect experience on Windows,” the spokesperson told Ars. “Kinect for Xbox One is being built for and tested with the Xbox One.”
I’m not sure that any one would actually purchase a Kinect especially for Windows, the fact that Xbox 360 owners figured out t use their Kinect on their PCs was just a coincidence, a bonus. Like me using the PS3 Eye Camera on my PC for Skype calls. This doesn’t mean I would actually go out and buy a next-gen PS4 Eye Camera to use in the future. But that’s just me.
People who are interested in using the hardware on their PCs won’t be able to use it even if they did get the Xbox One at launch. They will be required to sign up for Microsoft’s Microsoft’s pre-release Kinect for Windows developer program, which will put you $399 back to use the Kinect for Windows at that time.