Yesterday's anticlimactic announcement of Kinect's retail price has lead to all kinds of Kinect discussions in every corner of the internet. Today's Kinect talking points include the amount of physical space necessary to use the system, and Microsoft's charts detailing the total cost of ownership for each console manufacturer's motion control option.
One of the long-standing concerns about Kinect is just how much space players will need when using the motion control system. Certainly, every demo of the system so far has dedicated a fairly significant chunk of real estate to the experience. Will the system even function properly in smaller spaces?
Now, thanks to the pre-order page over at Amazon, that question has been answered.
"What will you need to play Kinect?"
"You'll need any Xbox 360 console, a Kinect sensor, Kinect games and 6 feet between you and your television for play space."
A six foot space requirement, which is not mentioned on Microsoft's Kinect page, pretty well limits the system to the living rooms and family rooms of the world. If you've been playing your Xbox 360 in your bedroom, or live in a dorm or a small apartment, it looks like Kinect is not an option for you.
Space aside, the real Kinect issue continues to be price. I, like many other people, am of the opinion that Kinect's price is too high. Microsoft, however, insists that an Xbox 360 with Kinect is the cheapest way into motion gaming -- and they've got a chart to prove it. Have a look.
There is a second chart for current system owners who would like to upgrade. Here it is.
Both charts are based on some semblance of feature parity, though liberties do seem to have been taken. Does either Wii bundle really need the $100 Balance Board? Furthermore, neither Move bundle actually requires the $60 in navigation controllers. All things being equal, shouldn't the Xbox 360 system bundle include a $50 Xbox Live Gold Subscription? After all, both PS3 and Wii feature online gaming and Netflix streaming. Parity is parity, right?
Personally, I find this whole line of reasoning on Microsoft's part to be misguided. At this point, the price is what it is. Microsoft should quit wasting time comparing themselves to the competition. Kinect's success or failure from here on out depends largely on the quality of its games, and Microsoft had better make sure that those games are damn good.
Well, let's hear it - what do you think about the Kinect space requirement? What is your take on Microsoft's "Cost of Ownership" charts?