Microsoft to reveal Kinect pricing at gamescom

Xbox-maker was "significant force at E3", plans more reveals in Cologne in August

Microsoft has told that it will announce the price point for its motion-based control system Kinect at this year's gamescom.

The Cologne event, taking place in mid-August, will also see a raft of new announcements on product.

That's according to country manager for Entertainment & Devices at Microsoft Germany, Oliver Kaltner, who explained that the company was keen not to distract people from the accessibility of Kinect at this point.

"I believe that the price point is not the critical topic, but something you need at the end of the communication in order to place a product properly into a market," he told Germany at this year's E3 Expo. "From that standpoint pricing is an important topic for our target groups, our partners and, of course, also for us.

"I also think it is the right decision not to determine price points now, because it distracts completely from our actual core story with all its possibilities in the area of gaming, movie, music and social entertainment. We firmly believe that we can offer an unique innovation.

"We have first and foremost a product to offer that doesn't have any entry barriers - which means that the access to fun, family entertainment and social entertainment is a direct access. I would never be able to communicate all these aspects if we mentioned a price point.

"That would mean that the price is the key point of our message, and it does not belong there for now. We will find a price which is attractive in the market," he added.

The company is currently under pressure from rival Sony, which priced its Move peripheral at 39.99 / 39.99 / $49.99 this week, while reports put Kinect at a rumoured figure of $189 - despite speculation last year that Natal (as it was known then) would come in at around $50.

"You develop a product, you look at the markets and at a certain point you end up being confident that it offers good value for money and is relevant in the market," continued Kaltner.

"Beyond that we have to consider that E3 is a very important event for the whole industry. But we are still two weeks in our last fiscal year. That means we are in the middle of the endgame of finalizing our budgets and we of course use our insight from E3 to evaluate the market volume again.

"Being responsible for the business in Germany, it comes in handy to still have a certain flexibility. In eight weeks we are at gamescom and we will know the price not later than that, because we will start to sell [to retail]."

And Kaltner also revealed that there was plenty more to come from the Cologne event this year, with Microsoft lending it strong support.

"Microsoft is without doubt the significant force at E3 this year," he claimed. "However, for me personally it is even more important what I can learn out of that for gamescom.

"I am very proud to say that Microsoft as a corporation did understand, how important gamescom is. We will have a much bigger and more spectacular appearance at gamescom this year than we did last year.

"We have invested well - and because we did not unveil everything on E3 we will have also for gamescom a lot of fresh information."

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Latest comments (10)

Sli Fallen Computer 7 years ago
Bologna. IMO, the "Pre-order" price currently listed at Gamestop is a plant, by Microsoft, to gauge reaction, and (pre-order interest) to a "possible" $149.00 price point.
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Personally, if they can retail it at a psychological 99$, I'm 100% in. I really enjoyed playing it at E3. I do think they're a little too "Wii style" focused at the moment for the games, but one thing can't be ignored: EVERYONE I was watching trying it in the glass booths had a big smile on their face. It's not gonna replace the controller, but open new genres of body based games. At 99$, it'd be definitely worth the investment IMO.
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Mike Wells Writer 7 years ago
Agree on the $99 psychological point in principle, but there is also a lot of chatter comparing the (possible) price of Kinect with Sony's "much cheaper" Move. These seem to overlook that a lot of the game styles Sony has demonstrated (boxing, archery) require two controllers, and double that for two players, while Kinect lets two people play side-by-side out of the box. And really, how many waving-your-arms-about games are fun played solo? Expect Microsoft to message on the "true cost" as well as the different functionality. And imagine the non-game software possibilities if Kinect (assuming it works well enough) winds up on the PC at some point...
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Mark Raymond Gamer; Consumer; Journalist 7 years ago
I mean Microsoft might be more successful at it, but Sony's messaging of the "true cost" didn't exactly work too well for them in the past. I think $150 is too expensive and $180 would be a terrible mistake but would do I know?
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David Spender Lead Programmer 7 years ago
$99 would work for me. $150 would be too much.

I haven't noticed much talk about this observation: Sony Move is being integrated into existing games, Microsoft Kinect is not - new games are being developed for it. I would guess the reason being is that Kinect takes a TON of processing power - let's say as much as 40%. So it would be impossible to integrate it into existing or normal 360 games and you will never see it in any of the technical/graphical blockbusters.

This is a major difference between the two platforms' initiatives.
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Johan Ekblom7 years ago
$190 for an Eye Toy, never in my life.
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With that kind of money, a 3DS is more viable...
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Alan Botvinick Producer 7 years ago
The $149 pre-order price has also appeared online at Amazon, and at U.S. Retailers Wal Mart and Best Buy.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alan Botvinick on 18th June 2010 4:10am

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Lucas Seuren Freelance, Only Network7 years ago
Those pre-order prices aren't based on the actual price. Can't imagine MS has already finalized the plans around Kinect and at the same time claim they won't reveal the price untill the end of August.

Still haven't played it, but at the moment I doubt I'll but it, even at $99. It just looks too much like an eyetoy and maybe the technology is a bit more advanced, but the principle is the same and I didn't really enjoy the eyetoy.

Would I buy it, than $99 would probably be as much as I would be willing to pay. At $149 it's more than half the price of the 360 itself, the difference with Move will be too big and you almost have a Wii for that amount of money.
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Philip Wilson Project Manager/QA 7 years ago
Having played Kinect twice at E3, while I would ideally like to see it sell for $99 the $149 price point isn't too crazy. Sure games needs to be developed for it *BUT* it is being integrated into the system as a way to control the UI. A $150 one-time fee is better deal versus $180+ for Playstation Move option which is really just an updated Wii. Granted I didn't play PS Move at all but just from watching people it didn't look *that* impressive.
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