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Microsoft Confident That $150 is Right for Kinect

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 44 comments

In a recent interview, Microsoft's Chris Lewis revealed why the company priced Kinect the way it did and how long we'll have to wait before we see some non-casual games.

When Microsoft showed off Kinect at E3 this year, a lot of people were disappointed with the games demonstrated. They were all aimed at the casual gaming market and though plenty of casual gamers own Wiis, most Xbox 360 owners probably don't consider themselves part of that market.

Well, Microsoft hasn't forgotten about the more dedicated gamers, but as far as Kinect is concerned, they are focusing on the casual market for now. Chris Lewis, VP of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, this week told GamesIndustry.biz that we can look forward to hybrid games that complement what might ostensibly be a controller-based experience with gestures, voice and physical movement. However, though Lewis said that this will happen over the next 12 to 18 months, he said that over the launch phase and through Christmas, the Kinect games will be very "much pure Kinect for 360 experiences that will appeal to the broad young/older/female/family audiences."

When GamesIndustry wondered aloud if that would be enough on its own to get people to part with the cash, Lewis said, "We're confident it will – early signs are very positive."

Another sore spot for Xbox 360 owners is the price. A lot of gamers think Kinect is a little bit pricey. When asked why Kinect costs what it does, Lewis said Microsoft researches these things across wide groups of target customers and that it's confident – particularly because it comes with Kinect Adventures, which has 20 different levels – that it's good value.

Do you think Kinect is good value? Let us know in the comments below.

Read the full interview here.

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  • 1 Hide
    makotech222 , July 23, 2010 9:10 AM
    i wouldn't get that for $10...
  • 0 Hide
    daship , July 23, 2010 9:14 AM
    Fail, $50 is pushing it.
  • 1 Hide
    Morgan3rd , July 23, 2010 9:19 AM
    I think $120 would sell a lot more than 150... I still don't have a 360 or a PS3. (PC gaming ftw). I may get a rockband 3/kinect/360 bundle though if I feel like splurging... Or I could upgrade to i7...

    I think it will be a while yet before I own an xbox.
  • Display all 44 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    rmmil978 , July 23, 2010 9:25 AM
    I think it is overpriced at $150. $100 seems more reasonable to me, and the bundled / "free game" will be no more exciting than Wii Sports was, which was a gimmick game that was fun for about 10 seconds. The new pricing on the Xbox console as a whole and the slim versions with wifi are wonderful ideas and I applaud Microsoft for doing it. But if they're going to charge $150 they'd better broaden past the "casual gamer market" (i.e. hardcore gaming = plants vs. zombies) and do it fast, because the casual gamer will just go out and buy a Wii if they wanna spend $150 on something (which the Wii will probably be by next Christmas).
  • 7 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 23, 2010 10:25 AM
    I think I understand what MS is trying to do here, and it is very subtle.

    Owners of the Wii are casual gamers and potential casual gamers likely buy a Wii as there are no hardcore games.

    Owners of the Xbox 360 like to think of themselves as hardcore games and potential hardcore gamers are likely to buy an Xbox 360 because it has hardcore games.

    So, what about those who dont have either console yet or are upgrading?
    Millions of consumers who are either casual or hardcore, so why split the market in half and lose all the customer?

    The new Xbox 360S and the Kinect will attract previous Wii owners looking for a casula game but on a more powerful system
    It will attract previous Xbox 360 owners as it can still play their existing hardcore games and is more reliable (cooler).

    But more importantly it will attract those who have never owned a console before who wanted both casual and hardcore but not have to buy 2 separate consoles. There are people out there who want to play GoW2 for themselves and when their kids play on it switch over to Monkey Tennis.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , July 23, 2010 10:58 AM
    The point of Kinect is to grab a piece of the Wii pie, not to sell an accessory to the 18-35 year old boys who already own an Xbox 360 and buy Call of Duty maps.

    The $300 bundle is a very good deal and will attract a lot of new family-conscious consumers. If the family already has a 360 then for $150 they ostensibly get a new video game system with games that are wildly different than what's been available on Xbox 360.

    MS wants to expand the Xbox's appeal beyond 18-35 year old males that have usurped the platform. They've wanted to expand the Xbox audience for a long time, but this looks like the first time it's actually going to work. Fitness games will get women playing Xbox. Dance games will get girls. Pet sims and kart racers will get kids. Sports games and party games will get families. Xbox will no longer just be a brand associated with violent shooters and fantasy games for immature boys.

    18-35 year old males are still going to buy Halo, CoD, and Gears. Microsoft has that demographic locked up there is no point in targeting Kinect at that audience.

    I'd say the biggest flaw in Microsoft's strategy is the design of the Xbox 360. They've actually made the Xbox 360 less appealing to girls/mothers/grandparents than it was before. Kinect hardware could have been a little more candy apple friendly as well.
  • 1 Hide
    stromm , July 23, 2010 11:24 AM
    I bought an Elite just to play crackdown. I've had it RRoD on me and it took my sending a video of the RRoD to MS's support team (they swore Elites couldn't RRoD) for proof to get it exchanged. That process was quick though, less than 2 hours of my time. Then I had a new Elite within 3 days.

    I also have a Wii with 4 sets of controllers and spent way too many nights in the back yard with my home made projection screen playing golf and other games. Not to mention the money I've spent on gaming PC's over the years.

    But, there's no way in he11 that I'm going to spend $150.00 on Kinect. Sorry MS. Make it $99.00 and I'll get one as soon as they're released.

    And doesn't anyone else think that 12-18 month timeline they mention might also coincide with the next generation console? Why not 3-6 months for "hard core" games? 12-18 months is past the "oh, I gotta have that thing" time.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 23, 2010 11:36 AM
    Should have been $79 - $99. At $150, I don't think they are going to be able to sell enough of them to get the install base they need. At $90, I probably would make a launch day purchase. At $150, I'll pass.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 23, 2010 11:59 AM
    I think $150 is fair. It seems like the technology used would take up some more cost being that there is two cameras and then they had to develop and tweak the programming to use the device. Impressive so far by the demo videos. If it works 75 percent as well as I have seen in the videos, hats off to the team who developed it.
  • -2 Hide
    AndrewMD , July 23, 2010 12:39 PM
    Initial price is fine. It is either you want the device or you do not want the device.

    Microsoft will most likely lower the price once the initial demand is gone. As for the device itself, it represents another type of interaction with a console that has been fairly good to me since its launch.

    I will most likely purchase a complete bundle version of this set when it comes out. I like the way the new 360 looks.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 23, 2010 1:03 PM
    How many Wii controllers did you buy and at what cost? How many move controllers will you buy and at what cost? The Kinect is like buying multiple controllers at once, because casual games are not fun to play by yourself. The price is right, but I wish it was a bit lower as I did when I purchased my house. Either you buy the produt or not.
  • 0 Hide
    smeker , July 23, 2010 1:35 PM
    I would pay $39.99
  • 4 Hide
    coldmast , July 23, 2010 1:40 PM
    stromm Make it $99.00 and I'll get one as soon as they're released.


    I totally agree; $99 is the sweet spot, though I'd at least play a game I like on it before I fork over any cash. I think the Microsoft view about the attachment is that it functions as multiple controllers, so you should pay the same price as multiple controllers.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , July 23, 2010 1:51 PM
    I'd could buy a used Wii for $150.
  • 2 Hide
    ares1214 , July 23, 2010 2:03 PM
    this is a good extension and all, but 150 bucks is kinda pushing it. if they put it in a combo with the new xbox, maybe for 350-400$, then thats better, but i dont think many "casual" gamers will spend 150$ on an extension like this, and a lot of "hardcore" gamers will be too proud to buy it, or have no use for it.
  • 0 Hide
    Marco925 , July 23, 2010 2:08 PM
    I can't wait for Air Guitar Hero!
  • 0 Hide
    Sorax , July 23, 2010 2:47 PM
    It's hard for us to know how much money has already been spent by Microsoft for Kinect's development. I don't imagine the hardware is particularly expensive to mass produce but the software is revolutionary. This blog post from a Kinect engineer gives a great perspective on just what has been achieved: http://procrastineering.blogspot.com/2009/06/project-natal.html

    I know at the end of the day it only matters if it is fun. But that's because Kinect is a game implementation. It's tech could be used in many facets of life.

    So it's hard for me to say if $150 is a good value. As a consumer, I always want the price to be lower, but I also appreciate what's actually in the box. The $300 bundle is instantly more appealing and I might choose to buy that just to get the new Xbox form.
  • 0 Hide
    sceen311 , July 23, 2010 3:20 PM
    I'm quite sure it wont be worth anything until there is a decent game for it.
  • 2 Hide
    sliem , July 23, 2010 3:21 PM
    Get a decent hardcore fps game or two that uses kinect and lower the price to $99 (or bundle it with that game and tag it $149) and it'll sell better.
  • 2 Hide
    aznshinobi , July 23, 2010 3:44 PM
    Ehh.... Not exactly the ideal price considering (sorry to be a fan boy) but the move is only 100$, you'd think they would price it to compete. I guess not. 150$ is just pushing it, I COULD BY A CPU WITH THAT!
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