The waiting is over, and Microsoft has now confirmed what we all pretty much have gathered by now: the Kinect add-on for existing Xbox owners will be sold with a suggested retail price of $149 USD. It will include Kinect Adventures as an included title with the add-on package.
Microsoft also confirmed that they will be offering a Kinect Holiday Bundle, which will include the new Xbox 360 Slim console with the 4GB of internal flash memory, one wireless controller, the Kinect sensor unit, and the Kinect Adventures title for $299.99 USD MSRP. The Kinect Holiday bundle does represent value if you want the Kinect unit and want to upgrade your current Xbox 360 or are a first time buyer.
Microsoft also has confirmed the pricing of three of the first titles for Kinect. Joy Ride, Sports, and Kinectimals will carry a $49.99 price tag. Along with Kinect Adventures, these four titles represent four of the fifteen titles that will arrive on launch day.
For those pondering a pre-order of the Kinect add-on or Kinect Holiday Bundle, Microsoft is offering a code to be included with every pre-order that will give you three exclusive game levels for Kinect Adventures, which is included with both the add-on and holiday bundle. Checking with our retail sources, they still are indicating to us that if you want to make sure that you can buy Kinect on release day, a pre-order might be the only way that you are assured of a Kinect add-on unit; and some are already telling us that they expect supplies of the Kinect Holiday Bundle console package to be tight at launch.
The announcement or confirmation of the Kinect pricing does not come as a surprise. The news really confirms what we already suspect and what our sources have been telling us. As we told you previously, the news will not make developers or publishers happy, as they would have preferred to see a much lower price. Still, if you are going to buy a new console, the fact that Microsoft is throwing Kinect at a lower price than the add-on unit does represent a good value. Our sources warn us, however, that it is possible and quite likely that we will not see a two-title holiday bundle this year, but Microsoft instead will only offer the Kinect Holiday bundle, but this remains undecided seeing that the Kinect console bundle does not include a hard drive.
Does any of the news really make a difference at this point? We don’t think so. Really, the only thing new here is that Microsoft will be bundling Kinect Adventures with the add-on package and the Kinect console to add some additional value. The price tag for the add-on unit is still high; and while the Kinect console bundle does represent a good value for those that need a console and want Kinect, we just don’t think it makes that much of a difference. We agree with most that are suggesting that Microsoft is likely to struggle with sales for Kinect.