Kinect – a name redolent of cords, cables, USB ports. But the Microsoft Kinect, set to launch this fall for the Xbox 360, is the first in what will likely be a long line of cordless, controller-less motion-sensing hardware. Today, Kinect finally got an official price tag: $150 for the peripheral, and $299 for something called a Kinect Console Bundle, which includes the Xbox 360 4GB console and a game called Kinect Adventures.
As gaming industry analyst Jesse Divnich told MSNBC earlier this afternoon, the price tag on the Kinect isn't exactly low, but it's not crazily high, either. The Rock Band 3 Wireless Fender Mustang controller alone, for instance, costs $150. And that only works for a few games. The Kinect will be work with a wide range of titles, including the forthcoming Kinectimals and Kinect Sports.
"Previous peripherals with mass-market appeal, such as band kits, have sold millions of units worldwide even while priced north of $150," Divnich says.
Microsoft has high hopes for the Kinect, which uses a depth-sensor, a camera, and a microphone allow gamers to allow gamers to control onscreen action. The Kinect will bring Microsoft into direct competition with the Nintendo Wii, and also the Sony PlayStation Move, a motion-control peripheral which is expected to be released for the PlayStation 3 this fall. (Unlike the Kinect, the Move uses a controller.)
In June, Microsoft introduced a slimmed-down Xbox 360, featuring a 250 GB hard drive, an array of USB ports, Wi-Fi capability and a new AUX port. The console is priced at $299, and reportedly shuts itself down in the event of overheating. The Xbox 360 slim is available now at retail outlets across the US.