Despite the enormous amount of time and attention given the newly christened Kinect during their E3 press event, Microsoft has still yet to announce a price for the hardware. While hope remains that the old saying will not hold true ("if you have to ask, you can't afford it"), signs aren't looking good, and we may still be several weeks away from knowing Kinect's price.
Microsoft's reluctance to set a price has certainly not stopped the retail community from doing so. In line with rumors that the unit would sell for $149.99, a slew of retailers (including GameStop, Amazon, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart) have listed the unit at exactly that price.
Oliver Kaltner, Microsoft Germany's entertainment & devices division manager, has weighed in on the situation. On when a price will be announced:
"In eight weeks we are at gamescom and we will know the price not later than that."
On why the price has not yet been made public:
"... because it distracts completely from our actual core story with all [Kinect's] possibilities in the area of gaming, movie, music and social entertainment."
"...and we of course use our insight from E3 to evaluate the market volume again."
Sony's reveal that PlayStation Move will be available in a (relatively) complete bundle, with game and demo disc, for $99.99 must be putting pressure on Microsoft's Kinect pricing decision. Coupled with the subdued response to the motion contoller's E3 debut, will Microsoft ultimately reveal a more modest price tag? Apparently, we'll know in the next eight weeks.
Personally, I find the prospect of a $150 Kinect untenable, particularly with the availability of the full Wii console (with Motion Plus, Wii Sports, and Wii Sports Resort) for just $50.00 more. Microsoft is obviously extremely serious about moving into Nintendo's gaming space. They're going to have to be serious about getting into Nintendo's price range, as well.
Ranters, where do you stand on this issue? Is $150 for Kinect worth it for a re-invention of the 360 experience? Or is it too much to spend on something you didn't really want to begin with?