A Guide to How to Connect Kinect to Your PC

When Microsoft announced Kinect, previously known as Project Natal, back in 2010 it promised to be a real revolution in the gaming world. Taking the gestural control of Nintendo's Wii console one step further and allowing for full body motion control for the first time ever in a home gaming console.

Sadly, it didn't work out quite as well as it could have, but it did inspire a whole generation of amateur coders and developers to try new things. If you'd like to jump aboard the motion control bandwagon, this guide showing how to connect your Kinect to your PC will definitely come in handy!

Determine Which Model You Have

While the process of figuring out how to connect your Kinect to your PC should be relatively straightforward, the fact that Microsoft has actually released two versions of the XBox 360 Kinect hardware means that you've got a 50/50 chance of being right out of luck (at least for the easy option anyway).

To figure out whether or not you're going to be up and running in minutes rather than hours, all you need to do is take a look at your Kinect's included cables. If you've got one of the newer revisions, you'll sadly be unable to just plug it into the USB port of your PC - but if it's an older model, you're in luck.

Simply connect the USB plug into your computer's USB port and follow the on-screen instructions. If you're using Windows, this is a piece of cake as the operating system will automatically find and install the drivers necessary for you to use the hardware, and you'll be up and running within minutes.

If you've got one of the newer models, then things are a good deal trickier. Unless you know your way around a soldering iron, you'll probably be in for a tough time as you'll most likely have noticed that the connection at the end of the cable isn't a standard USB cable. There are third party adapters you could purchase online, however, so if you really want to get involved in the Kinect devleopment scene it's not beyond the realms of possibility.

What Next?

Once you've figured out how to connect your Kinect to your PC and your computer has downloaded and installed the drivers, where you go next is entirely up to you.

If you want to really get the most out of the hardware, then it's recommended you downloade Microsoft's Kinect Software Development Kit (SDK) which is freely available online.

It's not easy going, though, and once you've got that downloaded you can look forward to some pretty heavy nights of coding before you create anything reasonably decent.

By Googling "Kinect Hacks" you'll be able to give yourself a head start by downloading some pre-made third party code and software for your new PC enabled hardware! Have fun!

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