Microsoft's Shady Kinect Pricing: What Gives?

By  |  Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 9:21 am

Microsoft let E3 come and go without a word on the price of Kinect for Xbox 360, but now the Microsoft Store lists a tentative price of $150 for the motion-sensing camera.

“Official pricing has not been announced,” warns the site. “$149.99 is an estimate only and subject to change.” MSNBC cites a Microsoft representative who said that price is based on retailer estimates. Last week, Gamestop started selling Kinect¬†for pre-order, also for $150.

As PC World’s Matt Peckham¬†speculates, Microsoft wants to start selling these things ASAP, and it’s better to offer a worst-case price and drop it before launch if necessary.

Still, why hold off on an official price during the big show? I can guess at a few reasons:

  • Microsoft really hasn’t figured out pricing yet, or thinks it can bring the cost down between now and November 4.
  • Microsoft is still figuring out bundles — both with Xbox 360 hardware and with Kinect games — and doesn’t want to make a big announcement on pricing until everything’s squared away.
  • The general attitude in the press is that $150 is too expensive for Kinect (I beg to differ). Announcing a price at E3 could’ve derailed the product’s flashy debut.
  • A tentative price lets Microsoft see how many people are interested by the E3 buzz alone.

I imagine the answer is a combination of all those factors, but its kind of silly to sell something at a placeholder price in any case. I hope Kinect’s real price stops being a mystery in a week or so.


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike Cerm Says:

    I think it could sell alright for $150, but that price had better include a pack-in game. Otherwise, $99 is the limit.

    What Microsoft REALLY should do, if they want people to take this seriously, is price it at $100 AND include a pack-in game. At they price, they'll sell a ton of them. The 3rd party game studios aren't really going to bother investing in R&D to make a decent game for Kinect unless there's a couple million of them in the hands of consumers.

    Considering the ridiculously high price of Sony's competing product, which is at least $100 just for the hardware for one player, I don't really think that Microsoft is going to feel a lot of pressure to lower the price. Even at $150, it's still better deal than a Wii (and all the accessories the Wii requires), especially if Microsoft can release any games that people actually want to play.

  2. Kinect Reviews Says:

    I think it will do well at $150. A lot of gamers are willing to shell out that kind of money for the next generation of gaming experience.

  3. capneo_crowley Says:

    hey, do you guys recall when the xbox sold for 300 dollars. everyone think about that on the day natal is released

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