Microsoft announced that it will launch its Kinect motion-sensing add-on for the Xbox 360 on November 4 in North America and that it will cost $149.99, as expected. Additionally, Microsoft will sell an all-in-one bundle that combines a new low-end Xbox 360 with the Kinect and a Kinect-specific game for $299.
"Kinect truly is a revolutionary product," Xbox Director of Product Marketing Josh Hutto said. "We're bringing controller-free entertainment into the living room. With one purchase, families get Kinect and the most complete and affordable way to have fun."
The new Kinect bundle includes the game Kinect Adventures in addition to an Xbox 360 console and the Kinect add-on. That console comes with 4GB of internal storage, instead of a more capacious hard drive. (The current high-end Xbox 360 console includes a 250GB hard drive.) A standalone version of the low-end console will be made available separately for $199 and will ship on August 3, Microsoft says.
Microsoft's Kinect is a belated response to the motion-sensing capabilities of the Nintendo Wii, one that the software giant hopes will open up its console to a larger, more casual audience. That said, Microsoft has sold more than 40 million Xbox 360 consoles since late 2006, mostly to hard-core gamers who prefer shooter-type games like Halo and Call of Duty.
Part of this strategy involves lowering prices a bit. The $200 low-end Xbox 360 is in line with this thinking, as are the Kinect-specific games, which will sell for $50 each instead of the $60 that most new Xbox 360 game titles command. Microsoft says that 15 Kinect-specific games, including Kinectimals, Kinect Sports, and Kinect JoyRide, will be available at launch.