Earlier this week, we informed you that Microsoft’s Kinect would be priced at $149.99. However, after a recent update to Microsoft’s Online Store, it seems that this price tag is “only an estimate and subject to change.” You would hope that Microsoft knew at what price they plan on releasing the revolutionary device, since Microsoft is seemingly relying upon the Kinect to boost sales in the second half of the 360‘s lifetime. Apparently, that is not the case.
Allow me to offer a suggestion. I think Microsoft is just testing the waters to see how pre-orders go at the $149.99 price point. With the PlayStation Move bundle priced at $99.99 and a brand new Wii at $199.99, it is interesting that they would list an estimated price point right in the middle.
If the pre-order numbers aren’t what Microsoft is expecting, I can see the company quickly cutting the price down to the Move’s price point of $99.99. However, if the pre-order sales numbers go through the roof, Microsoft would logically leave the price where it is. The main problem with cutting the price to $99.99 is that there are reports that the Kinect unit itself costs more than that to manufacture.
What Microsoft needs to do is push the fact that while the Move is priced at $99.99, that is only for one person. For each additional person to play the Move, it could cost an extra $80: $30 for the Navigation controller and $50 for the Motion controller. With the Kinect, there is no additional cost for multiple players since the only hardware needed is the camera system.
Assuming that the main use of these control schemes may be for parties, it seems like the Kinect is the best choice in terms of value. Only time will tell who will win out on the software.
While the Wii put its foot in the door to bring motion gaming to the masses, Sony and Microsoft are looking to blow the door off its hinges. I’m really looking forward to the Kinect because I think it will be a game changer. Let’s just hope that it is not a glorified PlayStation Eye, because even Sony has realized that just a camera isn’t enough.
What do you think about the $149.99 price point? Did you already put in your pre-order? Let us hear it in the comments.
The Microsoft Kinect is scheduled to release on November 4, 2010.