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Microsoft Confident That $150 is Right for Kinect

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.

  • makotech222
    i wouldn't get that for $10...
    Reply
  • daship
    Fail, $50 is pushing it.
    Reply
  • Morgan3rd
    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.
    Reply
  • rmmil978
    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).
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • stromm
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • AndrewMD
    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.
    Reply