However, the increased price is due to the fact that the PC version is a more advanced piece of tech. For one, Kinect for Windows features a "Near Mode", which will allow the device to focus clearly on objects only 50cm away, with "graceful" degradation only 40cm away. In addition, the Xbox 360 Kinect is subsidized by consumers who are going to buy games to play with it as well as subscribe to Xbox Live to enjoy online play, while Kinect for Windows is a more utility software-driven device. Kinect for Windows also won't have the benefit of a standardised console, and must account for the wide range of PC configurations.
According to Kinect for Windows general manager Craig Eisler on the official Microsoft "We have chosen a hardware-only business model for Kinect for Windows, which means that we will not be charging for the SDK or the runtime; these will be available free to developers and end-users respectively," states Eisler., Microsoft will be offsetting the price of Kinect for Windows by releasing the SDK for free.
Finally, the price also includes a one-year warranty, and Microsoft will be offering a special academic price of $149 USD for Qualified Educational Users, much like there are Student Editions of Microsoft Office.
CES 2012: Kinect for Windows to cost $100 USD more than 360 Kinect
10 January 2012 | By JonahFalcon