The “trusted source” who spoke to Edge pegs Natal at a much higher price than previously rumored. MCV reported in November that Microsoft would aim for roughly 50 pounds in the United Kingdom. Because both stories are based on anonymous sources, I don’t fully trust either right now. For all I know, someone inside Microsoft is priming the press for a higher price only to announce something shockingly reasonable at E3, a la the iPad.
Still, I don’t think $150 for Project Natal would so bad. The important thing to remember is that with Project Natal, the camera is the entire controller. There are no remote controls, wands or nunchuks, just human arms, legs and torsos. Beyond the initial sticker shock, there are no additional costs.
With the Wii console, you get one remote with a MotionPlus attachment and one Nunchuk for $200. Each additional remote/MotionPlus/Nunchuk combo costs $70. Accommodating three or four players on the Wii is equally or more expensive than Project Natal. Sony hasn’t announced pricing for its Playstation Move motion controller, but I’m guessing the cost of additional wands could also get pricey.
Even though I think the rumored pricing for Natal is fair, I agree with my pal Brad Gallaway of GameCritics, who said he’d need to see a “stupefyingly, mindblowingly awesome game” to even consider spending so much money on a peripheral. That’s always been true, and it’s true for the Playstation Move as well. The Wii is good enough to carry out motion control as a novelty. But novelty won’t cut it in motion control’s next generation. We need to be floored.