It's tough to understand what Microsoft is thinking sometimes, isn't it? Take for example the decision to bring back the Start button in Windows 8.1, but not the Start menu. Decisions like that border on being belligerent, and now we've learned that you won't be able to plug the second generation Kinect sensor that ships with the Xbox One into your PC because it's packing a proprietary connector.
No big deal, because like Apple, Microsoft has plans to cash in on adapters, right? Wrong.
"The Kinect for Xbox One sensor will not have an adapter that allows it to plug into a computer," a Microsoft spokesperson told ArsTechnica in an email. "The new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will connect to computers using a standard USB 3 port."
So, if you're totally geeked about getting your hands on a next generation Kinect sensor and seeing what you can do with it in Windows, you'll have to wait until Microsoft launches a Windows-specific model with the appropriate connector (USB 3.0). That's too bad because the original Kinect for Xbox 360 could be plugged into a PC via an included adapter and modded to work in Windows, and even though Microsoft is essentially forcing the purchase of a Kinect with every Xbox One (it comes standard with the $499 console), there will be no adapter this time around. And if you planned to both purchase an Xbox One and tinker in Windows with Kinect, without an adapter, you'll end up purchasing two Kinect sensors (the one that's bundled with the Xbox One and a separate one designed specifically for Windows -- boo!).
Unofficially, don't be surprised if modders concoct their own home brewed adapter once the system ships later this year.