New Xbox Thingy Will Cost $150, Better Xbox $200

The Kinect, a sensor thingy for Xbox that was not received favorably at E3, will apparently cost $150, or $300 if you buy in a bundle with a newish-betterish-Xbox 360.

The improved 360, (which came out last month in a $300 version that included a 250GB hard drive), will be quieter, have built-in wireless-n, and be available separately from the Kinect August 3rd for $200. The $200 version will have 4GB of flash storage.

Kinect price is $150; new 360 hardware coming August 3 [Ars Technica]

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  1. Dyscord says:

    That’s the first unfavorable article about the kinect that I’ve seen.

    • Daverson says:

      Really? The first unfavorable articles I saw were posted by attendees at E3.

    • dolemite says:

      Me too. I’ve seen a lot more in-depth articles, and while a few have niggling complaints, there is far more positive than negative. The only real problem mentioned is the fact if you are sitting down, it doesn’t pick up well, which makes sense.

    • pf3 says:

      I found Kinect to be really enjoyable.

      • pf3 says:

        Should have RTFL. Those games look like shit, I think the mistake was the games, not the hardware.

    • dbeahn says:

      Most of the press I’ve seen about the Kinect has been pretty positive. Kinda makes me wonder if Meg intentionally went looking for an article that was negative. Ars Technica had nice things to say about it, wonder why Meg didn’t link to them instead of DigitalTrends (who I’ve never heard of until today):

      http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/06/natal-outed-as-kinect-while-360-slim-rumor-gains-speed.ars

      or

      http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/06/kinect-launches-november-4-360-exclusive-crytek-game-coming.ars

      or

      http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/06/driving-forza-with-the-kinect-looks-silly-feels-great.ars

      Seems odd to say that it was “not favorably received” when there are lots of positive reviews from E3 out there.

      • sqlrob says:

        Everything I’ve seen about the E3 is saying the stuff that they showed in promo that isn’t there (more players, sitting, netflix integration)

      • Dyscord says:

        Exactly. And if you’re going to say the response is unfavorable, then maybe you should post an article from a better known source? From what I’ve heard there’s been both positive and negative aspects. To say it’s not received favorably implies that NO ONE likes it all.

        • Dyscord says:

          And here’s the funny part I just noticed. They link to an unknown site to say that it hasn’t been “received favorably”, but the article itself is linked from Ars, a site that has plenty of positive things to say about Kinect.

          Coupled with the terrible article title and this is pretty damn biased.

    • cluberti says:

      Consumerist has been pretty anti-Microsoft (if not in deed, at least in wording articles) for awhile now.

    • Khidr9 says:

      Got to agree with the others, saying the kinect hasn’t been received favorably and posting the one unfavorable article is a little unfair.

    • coren says:

      The stuff I was reading just slammed Microsoft. More exciting than when Joseph Sports scored more scores than the other men and won that thing.

    • erinpac says:

      There have been favorable articles? Evidently I read completely different video game news…

      It sounds like garbage from the E3 reviews.

      It is funny though – they just put out the new xbox version for $300 and now this sounds like when the kinect is sold it will be packaged with that version for $300? Hope nobody sucked into that upgrade.

      • Das G says:

        The one it will be packaged with only has 4gigs of storage as opposed to the 250gigs the one selling now has.

      • Dyscord says:

        Um. The $300 xbox out now has a 250gb harddrive. The bundle has the $200 xbox with the $150 kinect for $300. Not seeing where people got suckered here.

  2. LACubsFan says:

    What does it do?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Drains your wallet.

      • Griking says:

        The Consumerist seems to be full of bad comedians.

        The Kinect is a motion activated control mechanism. Unlike the Wii you don’t actually have to hold a controller, it tracks your movement. I don’t know how it would register a button click though.

        • Clyde Barrow says:

          Like when I get home, I am too tired and my hand held controller is fine. I don’t need to “jump up and down” to play COD3. lol. Not that that game would be included in this but hey, just sayin.

        • c!tizen says:

          “The Consumerist seems to be full of bad comedians.”

          … and amateur critics that can’t take a joke.

    • Rachacha says:

      It allows you to control your game play without needing a game controller (think Wii Sports without the Wiimote or balance board). Simplified, it recognizes that you are a human and when you jump up and down, the video game will respond by making your character jump up and down.

      There were some other features that might have some use in the future for home automation like the ability to recognize and differentiate from different people, for example if you were to walk into the room it would recognize you as LACubsFan and bring up a menu with your facebook page, twitter feed and the last game you were playing.

    • Difdi says:

      You ever see the movie Minority Report? If so, think of the computer the Pre-Crime cops use. Imagine controlling your Xbox that way.

  3. dragonfire81 says:

    The price point for the Kinect is too high. For the cost of it and a couple of games you could buy a Wii easily.

    Which brings me to my next point. Most of the games I’ve seen are simply rip offs of Wii titles. I haven’t seen anything close to compelling enough to make me even think of shelling out $150 for this thing.

    The core problem I think is that the Xbox core user base aren’t highly interested in casual games.

    • kcvaliant says:

      There are a few games that Wii has no chance of pulling off, but yes it is just a better version of the Wii without controllers.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        A) Pretty clear now that the Wii hasn’t lost its appeal to consumers.
        B) The games the Wii can’t pull off with the motion controller are then pulled-off by using the Wii classic controller.

        C) My only real complaint about the Wii is that it’s not a graphic-pretty as an Xbox or Playstation when they could have upgraded the graphics hardware without much effort or cost.

        • penuspenuspenus says:

          Except for those that own one. NSMB could only hold interest for so long before the console went back to being a fancy dust collector.

        • kcvaliant says:

          A)Maybe not in Japan, there are dozens of units at the local gamestops from serious gamers unloading them.. Now for kids who you can entertain with a buglight then yes, they still love the wii..

          B)Was more meaning games like Milo as opposed to just controllerless use..

          C)It was not graphic/processor heavy because they wanted to keep cost down to sell more units.. There would have been a significant cost increase at launch.. Now?? not so much..

          Of course Nintendo is going to have to keep what they have now and expand on the graphic/media power in the next console war.. If not Microsoft and Sony will crush them if they do not abandon this technology..

          • coren says:

            lol “serious gamers”. I guess all those trade ins are why the Wii is outselling the Xbox 360 by 30+ million despite being a year younger.

      • dp05 says:

        I can’t really say that it is a better version of the Wii…both will have their strengths and weaknesses. The Kinect I could see settling into a niche for party games and interactive stuff like the animal thing they showed at E3. Without buttons or feedback of any sort, things like first-person shooters will be all but impossible, or at least semi-awkward to play, making even the Wii superior to the Kinect (not to bash the Wii there, as it does have a few decent FPSs). Sure, gaming isn’t limited to your FPSs, and granted you pick up a controller in those situations, but when the price point for the two (Wii and Kinect, that is) are comparable, you should compare them on a gaming level as well.

        Kinect is targeting a market that doesn’t necessarily care about graphics, and one that’s already being dominated by the Wii, so I question just how well of a decision it was to put this out now.

        • kcvaliant says:

          I disagree.. If the thing would be around 50-70 bucks it would targeting a group of people not caring about graphics(the wii crowd).. They are going after the tech nuts and MS fanboys for this thing and its price.. Or they are hoping to create a new crowd in the next console war..

    • kcvaliant says:

      forgot to add..

      too expensive and novelty will wear out on serious gamers also after a few months.. Just like the Wii..

      • JonStewartMill says:

        novelty will wear out on serious gamers also after a few months.. Just like the Wii..

        I like the qualifier ‘serious’. So if someone says “I’ve had my Wii for two years now and I still play it” you can dismiss them as ‘not a serious gamer.’ Google “no true Scotsman” for the explanation of this logical fallacy.

    • dolemite says:

      While the “starter” games might seem like Wii ripoffs, the potential for awesome games is much higher than Wii. Full 1080p, multiple processors, etc. Wii is as good as it will ever get. “Cute” is the best that technology can muster.

      And as for the $150 being too high, there are 2 points. #1. When does anyone pay MSRP for anything? MSRP for a 360 arcade right now is 199, but you can get them for 159 with 2 games all summer long. #2. Rock band instrument bundle was $150, and those were sold out for like a year.

      • guroth says:

        Games that rely on motion input are always going to be just “cute” games, regardless of processor, graphics cards, ram etc. The reason for this is the lack of precision and control variety.

        We are never going to see a good first person shooter using kinect (how are you supposed to control movement direction, movement speed, looking direction, weapon changing, using secondary weapon modes, using items etc etc etc….)

        We are never going to see a good racing game using kinect (how are you supposed to control acceleration, braking, hand braking, steering, shifting, special modes, changing view)

        I could go on and on about the dozens of genre’s of games that require too much precision and control variety for this to work well with. What are you left with? “Cute” games that are simple and only require 1 or 2 different inputs at a time.

        At least the Wii has buttons.

        • _Rand_ says:

          Everything this man said is truth! Well, mostly.

          Kinect is interesting, but wont be more than that.

          If anything brings good motion control to top quality games this generation of consoles it will be Playstation Move, even if they end up just being Wii-like games with (much) better graphics.

        • sqlrob says:

          Just because Kinect is shown without people using controllers doesn’t mean you can’t use a controller (dunno if that’s true, just an assumption)

          • Bunnies Attack! says:

            From what I’ve read so far, for shooters you’re still going to use the regular controls but the kinect would be used for peripheral things like head tracking and grenade throwing

      • coren says:

        You can get them that cheap now because there’s how many new versions of the 360 out (and it’s been out for quite a while so now is the time to incentivize the purchase)

    • Griking says:

      I have a little problem with the fact that both Microsoft and Sony both ridiculed Nintendo when they first came out with the Wii and said that motion control it was just a gimmick that wouldn’t last. Of course now they’re both jumping on the bandwagon.

    • jaredwilliams says:

      Okay dude, wii is NOT the same as Kinect, wii doesn’t have body sensoring, it has motion control controllers, which suck. Wii sucks, it’s graphics suck, it’s Nintendo 64 with crappy literal TV remote shaped controllers. I don’t understand how anyone could want it, especially since it’s games are geared towards kids. Anyone I know that has Wii, regrets buying it and has touched it 2 times total. Xbox 360 has always had the reputation of having the best games, and Kinect isn’t even out yet. Wii has been out 2 years and still has yet to have a good game besides Mario Galaxy which is somewhat cool. Kinect has just as many cool ideas as Wii CURRENTLY has, and it hasn’t even come out yet.

      And you can call me a Fanboy, but I never owned Sega or the original XBOX, I still own every platform of Nintendo ever made, and all the games. Including Wii. Wii sucks still and I have used it about…twice. Wii fit was a joke my fat sister is still fat…not Wii’s problem but regardless. kinect has the same idea as Wiifit already but already 20x better because you can’t cheat like on Wiifit by jiggling the Wiimote around instead of actually moving. This is a whole body sensor. I’m pissed that Xbox is now coming out with a way better XBOX with a fixed GPU, a built-in memory, and built-in wifi.

      I paid 249.00 for my Xbox, 100.00 for my hard drive, and 100.00 for my wireless receiver for XBOX. That sucks. Especially because I’ve gone through 3 Xboxes due to their shitty make. The games are that much better than any platform. Would you rather play Lego Indiana Jones on Wii? I guess you would
      haha

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    This will eventually be placed in the category of Nintendo’s Virtual Boy.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      It’ll fit in nicely next to the 360’s HD-DVD add-on.

      • Sparkstalker says:

        Heh,,,I still love my HD-DVD drive. It allows me to leave my current game disc in while watching a DVD.

    • Rachacha says:

      (In my best TV Announcer Voice): “Nintendo’s Virtual Boy…Recommended by Priests Everywhere”

  5. Daverson says:

    Awesome. You get to pay $150 for a dongle that will let you play brand new Microsoft versions of five-year-old Nintendo games.

  6. temporaryscars says:

    No thanks.

  7. grucifer says:

    It’s a shame this and Sony’s Move controller are both so expensive. Brings my interest from “Meh” to “No Way!”

  8. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    I told anyone who would listen to me that it would be expensive. It works with a camera and video processing is pretty computationally expensive… there’s gonna have to be massive hardware inside it.

    Worth mentioning: I know they listened to me because they refused to put a quarter in my “I will shut up for a quarter” jar.

    • sqlrob says:

      IIRC, the computation is offloaded to the 360, so there’s not much inside.

    • IssaGoodDay says:

      What sqirob said. All processing is done by 360, which will drastically limit the ability of the 360 to output top notch graphics while this is in use.

      • coren says:

        …so if I’ve got this right, I’d be paying extra to turn my 360 into a wii, but with wii graphics?

        Oh man I can’t stop laughing

  9. dolemite says:

    I don’t think linking to one of the few negative reviews of the Kinect is very unbiased. I’ve seen far more positive reviews of the premiere titles than negative. That article basically trashed some 3rd party games that would be equal to “Carnival Games” for the Wii.

    I’ve got a Wii, and while it is interesting, I also find the controls rather imprecise. Not to mention the 360 is a technological powerhouse by comparison. I look forward to seeing what MS and other developers can come up with.

    • Paladingo says:

      Seriously, it’s had a hugely positive reception, linking to a non-gaming site with a review of a gaming console is just bizarre.

      If you’re not the target market for the Wii, you’re not the target market for the Kinect, either. They’re tapping a massive market that until recently Microsoft has had no share in. To NOT make it would be stupid.

      Also I will be playing Just Dance like mad.

      • coren says:

        To not have done it 3 years ago was stupid. To do it now, with the peripheral alone being nearly the cost of a system that can do it without any extras is questionable

    • Dyscord says:

      Consumerist can be FAR from unbiased at times. The article calls it a “thingy” instead of being bothered to name it

  10. valkyrievf2x says:

    Doesn’t seem too appealing to me. Like some posters said, it brings it into Wii territory but with a much higher price point. It is too high to get it as an add on to the system, and the system itself is too high when compared to a Wii.

    Has ANY of the add on pieces of equipment like this ever actually taken off? Not talking simple controllers (like the light gun, light bazooka, classic controller for the Wii), but stuff like the Neo Geo CD drive, or the Genesis 32x or the Genesis CD drive. Only one I can think off that took off was the Super CD for the PC-Engine (TurboDuo/Turbografx 16 here in the US). That one sold quite well.

    • Limewater says:

      The Neo Geo CD was not an add-on for the home console. It was a CD-based version of the home console that had (mostly) the same games as the cartridge-based system, but at lower prices.

      But yes, I think you are correct about console add-ons.

    • Sparkstalker says:

      “Has ANY of the add on pieces of equipment like this ever actually taken off? “

      Other than things like Rock Band and Guitar/DJ Hero?

  11. UltimateOutsider says:

    As someone who just sent his 2-year-old Xbox 360 Elite in to Microsoft for the dreaded E74 system failure, I’m not about to pay $0.01 for another Xbox hardware product until we hear some assurances that the newer ones are built to withstand more than a few months of light use.

    • c!tizen says:

      I wouldn’t worry about this, Microsoft has addressed the problem by removing the system’s ability to display the RROD.

      I also read (though I can’t find the article now, I think it was on Engadget or Gizmodo) that this new Xbox, although much quieter and smaller, actually generates more heat than the original Xbox.

  12. Mike says:

    I have no desire to get kinect, and the majority if gamers I know feel the same.

    This could all change however with the release of one good game. Perhaps a version of Call of Duty where you hold a plastic gun and aim and shoot with it? Or maybe a Halo game that uses the technology? Until then I leave this stuff for the Wii.

    • c!tizen says:

      Yeah, we’re on the same page. I pretty much just commented the same thing below, should have refreshed the page first and just added it to yours. I’m with you though, the right games and the right mixture of tech and this would take off fast.

    • Sparkstalker says:

      I think Kinect, at it’s core, is a very cool application of technology, especially for UI and things like the Milo demo. But the problem is, from what we’ve seen, that tech isn’t being used to it’s potential,but rather to imitate the Wii…

  13. TheGreySpectre says:

    I am not interested in this for my xbox…however, if microsoft releases the software/drivers so it can be used for PC then I will definitely get one. The PC community could do some very interesting things with that sort of device.

  14. Sandison says:

    Wow. I applaud the complete lack of effort put into this post. “Thingy”? “Newish-betterish”? Are you serious?

  15. c!tizen says:

    I think this might, MIGHT, take off if the right games are designed for it. I think they may also need to incorporate different types of precision controllers to work in tandem with body movements.

    Take a game like COD or Halo. Develop a controller to mimic an actual assalt rifle (or whatever type gun is in the game) and make it precision controlled so you can actually aim down the barrel and use the sites to pick off your enemy (this alone, if done right, would be worth the price tag for most gamers). Then use your actual body position to control the position of the avatar (standing/kneeling/prone). Of course there are bugs to be worked out, like being able to turn off the body movement control and use buttons on the controller instead, but the idea would be a huge advancement in the gaming experience.

  16. sven.kirk says:

    The 4G package is horrible, unless you can upgrade the hard drive.
    Updates aloe will kill off all that memory.

  17. Riroon13 says:

    Best part about the Kinect is that, as of now, IT MUST BE PLAYED STANDING UP. Tweaks were discussed to allow for sit-down play, but no promises have been given.

    At least when waggling my Wii, I can sit down to do it. What self-respecting gamer, putting in hours at a time, want to stand up while doing it?

    I’m a father with a full-time day job; when I sneak on the Wii or PS3 at my house. It is late night after the kids are asleep. You really think, after being up since 5:30 a.m., I want to spend my ‘me’ time (10p-midnight) standing up and jumping like an idiot, when I can just melt into the sofa, drink a beer, and have to do nothing more that wiggle my thumbs and tap a trigger button or two?

    • Dyscord says:

      The sports games for the Wii are better played standing up. The whole point of the Kinect is to make people more active it seems.

  18. coren says:

    lol, I love how Microsoft has been claiming that there’s been no price announcement/no truth to the 150 Kinnect rumors and then, sure enough…

  19. MerlynNY says:

    Love my 360, but lets see. Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii or Crappy, laggy motion games that come with a $150 price tag for a crappy laggy motion Camera.

    Time to go stomp some goombas! No Thanks Microsoft!

  20. ZombiGamer32 says:

    Being a life long gamer from the atari 2600 all the way through to now having a PS3 and 360 i dont see an issue with kinect. Both microsoft and sony are trying to tap into markets that are out their for casual family gaming. There is a big upside to this Nintendo has left the floodgates open in terms of the Qulity department (they used to be harder companies and now they let any gargbage on the Wii) when it comes to shovelware, hopefully MS and Sony learned from this and keep the drap titles off. I support both MS and Sony