Saturday, July 31

The great Kinect pricing hoohah

So quite a lot of the internet, yes I'm looking at you, has gone literally bat-shit about the the price of Microsoft's Kinect.

If you don't know, or hadn't heard yet, Kinect will cost £129.99 and will be bundled with one game, "Kinect Adventures" (which is kind of like an on-the-rails version of Wipe Out, i.e. the whole idea involves a lot of jumping and ducking to avoid various obstacles, but without Richard Hammond).

Now some people, have declared in lots of badly spelt posts (an awful lot of which were written in solely capital letters, presumably because their caps lock key was stuck down due to the amount of drool that routinely hits the keyboard) that this is Microsoft ripping off the gamer, that it will fail because of this price tag, and that it caused them to literally laugh out loud (how often does that really happen??)

Now I'm not going to be drawn into a Kinect vs Move or XBox vs Playstation argument here, because quite frankly there's enough rampant fanboyism on the internet..

But let's just consider a few things..

Back in April 2007 Activision shipped Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360.  In the box was a plastic guitar controller and a copy of the game and the price?  Well had it in stock originally for £64.99, so the RRP was presumably slightly above that.  So consider that Just shy of £70.  Now at the time, this was the only game that the guitar controller could be used with on the XBox 360 platform and the controller that shipped wasn't even wireless!!!

Just over a year later, in May 2008, Harmonix/EA shipped Rock Band into the UK.  Now the "Band In A Box" - which contained 1 x Drum Kit (and sticks), 1 x Microphone and 1 x Guitar Controller (wired again) had an RRP of £129.99 and didn't even bundle in a copy of the game you needed to play the fucking instruments with.  No.. That shipped separately, at an RRP of £49.99.

Now admittedly this was during the height of the "rhythm game" craze, but still, if you paid RRP for a copy of Rock Band & bought its instruments on the day of release, you'd have coughed up a whopping £179.98.  I appreciate that few people actually paid anything like that figure, I mean who actually pays RRP these days with internet retailers trying to undercut each other in order to attract our business?

Elsewhere, DJ Hero, a game shipping with a plastic turntable, had a recommended RRP of £108.

This is also, I'll admit,  when we weren't either in, recovering from, or about to be plunged back into recession.  I am sure you'll remember these days with a fuzzy fondness.  You know, that time where we all used to wipe our arses with five pound notes whilst laughing maniacally..

So now we have the price of Kinect at £129.99.
Yes, it's not cheap, no one is going to disagree with that.

However it is £129.99 for something which is fairly revolutionary in the gaming industry and features some pretty cool tech.  It ain't just a plastic controller shaped like a guitar, it's innovative. The sensor array built into the device tracks players in 3D, allows facial and voice recognition for vocal commands.  In short, whilst they are shamelessly going for the "casual gamer" market with Kinect, at least they are doing something new and bold in trying to capture those gamers.  It would have been simpler (and, most likely, cheaper) to simply go for some form of controller solution, I'm sure, but they pushed the envelope and credit to them for that.  The titles available at launch might be slightly disappointing, but then launch titles almost always are and I can imagine that it won't be long before a developer really "gets" Kinect and really something that really allows the platform to shine, already "Children of Eden" could be gearing up to the title that everyone with Kinect "must have".

So it's innovative, it's fairly cool tech, and it's being released just before Christmas.. of course it's going to be priced at £129.99.  And I don't think it's that ridiculously priced, or will fail at this price point, not when you compare it to the price of some of the games.

The so-called group of "hardcore" gamers bitch about the price of Kinect, whilst on another browser tab they are considering ordering The Legendary Edition of "Halo Reach" which wades in at a not inconsiderable £99.99 because the game ships with some tat that is, apparently, collectible..

But, apparently, Kinect is a rip-off at its pre-Xmas, early adopter, price of £129.99

You know, just saying.. it?  Really??

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Back from the Dead

This is a test..
No, really, this is just a test..

Nothing really to see here..

I had to jump through numerous hoops to get back to my blog, that I thought I should put something here just to mark the occasion.

It's weird to be back..
It's like pulling on a pair of underpants that you've not worn in some time..

Anyway.. words will appear here again in the future..

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