On Tuesday, Microsoft announced to the world its plans to launch the Kinect motion controller for its Xbox 360 video game console this November 4. This is well within the Christmas holiday shopping season which makes it one of the best times to release the Kinect.
How Much Is That Kinect in the Window?
If you were to ask the price, for the consumers that do not already have an Xbox 360, Microsoft is offering to bundle the controller with a console and a game for $299. For those who already own the console, the Kinect controller with a game is going to sell for the price of $149. Buying the controller by itself, however, will not be available this year.
Microsoft Kinect is built and designed to allow the consumers to play games without needing any kind of game controller and their numerous array of buttons. Players will be able to use voice commands or even body gestures so they can control the action in the games. This will ideally make the video games easier for anyone to jump into.
The $299 Kinect bundle is set to be aimed at the mainstream consumers who do not currently have the console. This is the demographic that is crucial to Microsoft’s plans to grow its audience beyond the hard-core gamers and thumb jockeys.
Too Bad It’s Only 4GB
Honestly, there is still some fine print that buyers need to be aware of before they decide to shell out $299 on the bundle. The console that will be included in the package will only have 4 gigabytes of internal memory. That seems to be quite more than the Xbox Arcade console which only has 256 megabytes of internal memory. Still, it is only a fraction of the new Xbox 360’s 250 gigabyte hard drive.
Something to compare with again is that Microsoft bundle will be sitting on store shelves next to Nintendo Co.’s Wii. This also comes bundled with a game, Wii Sports and a controller for $199 if Nintendo decided to lower its price by November. The $149 controller bundle will also compete with Sony’s new motion controller for their own PlayStation3 which has been dubbed Move which will sell at $49.99. If you think about it, why would anyone want to pay more than $100 if these are your choices?
Aaron Greenberg is a director of product management at Microsoft. He argued that, unlike the Wii, consumers will not have to pay for the extra controllers or attachments. The Wii will come with one controller and Sony requires their players to have their own Move controller if they wish it play simultaneously. Greenberg assures the public that Kinect will be able to recognize multiple players automatically without the added need for extra controllers.
Between the Move Kinect and the Wii, the companies will need massive effort to get these consoles moving off the shelves at a faster rate this coming holiday season. This smorgasbord of revolutionary gaming console technology is set to blow the minds of both the avid fans and the newbies of the console gaming experience.
Kinect has received the most publicity on its release since Wii has already made its point to the world by being endorsed by almost every media outlet and used by millions of children and adults all over the world. Is it time to step down and make way for Kinect? Maybe they will finally find out by the end of this year.