Microsoft have confirmed US prices for the upcoming Kinect motion control camera (US$149 or RM476) as well as Kinect bundled with a cheaper Xbox 360 designed especially for casual users (US$299 or RM956).
The Kinect camera is designed to respond to player movements and voice commands, allowing for hands-free control that the company hope will make video gaming more broadly appealing than ever before.
Though several US retailers started taking pre-orders for the Kinect at US$149 (RM476) soon after the Electronics Entertainment Expo in June, Microsoft were not expected to announce a price point until the next big games conference, Gamescom, in August.
The Kinect device also comes with a collection of mini-games under the name of Kinect Adventures.
Other Kinect games touted during the E3 event included Dance Central and Your Shape: Fitness.
Also detailed is a cheaper version of the new, slimline Xbox 360 S, cutting costs by leaving out the hard drive found in other current 360s. Instead, it relies on 4GB of Flash memory to record a minimal amount of information about players and their game progress.
The Xbox 360 4GB is also to be sold separately at US$200 (RM640), with a street date of August 3 in the United States: in comparison, the Xbox 360 S retails for US$249 (RM796) and includes a 250GB hard drive instead.
Most Kinect games are to cost US$50 (RM160) instead of the usual US$60 (RM192) to further sweeten the deal.
Kinect itself launches on November 4 in the United States, with other regions aiming for retail availability as soon as possible afterwards.
The Nintendo Wii, launched in 2006, showed that there was substantial public interest in games that used intuitive motion controls.
Since then, both Microsoft and Sony have been thinking up ways to gain similar mainstream appeal.
Sony’s collection of Move controllers for PlayStation 3 are to go on sale from September 19 in the United States, and October 21 in Japan.
Two handheld Move controllers, a PlayStation Eye camera and a game will chalk up to US$99 (RM316), and while Kinect offers hands-free control, Move’s differential appears to be the participation of up to eight players. — Relaxnews
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