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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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Phil Elliott