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Pricey Motion: Microsoft’s Kinect Will Run You $149.99
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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During the now-closed E3 2010 video game convention, both Microsoft and Sony showed off their motion-based gaming systems, primed and ready to try and compete with the Nintendo Wii.

Sony brought to the table their PlayStation Move, some impressive demonstrations of games it will be compatible with, and even a rundown of prices for each of the bundles that will be available. On the other side, Microsoft brought their own Project Natal, shared that it would now be called “Kinect” instead, and showed off some of the games and features that it would hold. The curious thing about Microsoft is that they seemed to be keeping the price tag their own special secret.

Now the word is out: Amazon is now accepting pre-orders for the Microsoft Kinect system, and it will run you a not-so-cool $149.99.

That’s half the price of what a decent Xbox 360 will run you, and a significant investment on something not yet proven to be worth it. Even worse: gamers expected Microsoft and Sony’s motion gaming to deliver top-level games using motion controls, and where Sony is showing off impressive names like Killzone 3 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour, most people will tell you that the games coming with the Kinect look a little too much like Wii games.

Features of the Kinect listed on Amazon include:

* Color VGA Motion Camera: 640×480 pixel resolution @30FPS
* Depth Camera: 640×480 pixel resolution @30FPS
* Array of 4 microphones supporting single speaker voice recognition
* Fully compatible with all Xbox 360 models*
* Revolutionary technology that includes body recognition

The PlayStation Move controller run with the previously-released PlayStation Eye. If you haven’t heard the prices that have been set there, the main motion controller will ask $49.99 of you, with the navigation controller running at $29.99. You can also grab a special bundle with the motion controller, the PlayStation Eye (which goes for $39.99 on its own), and their Sports Champions game for $99.99. If you have nothing and want it all, throw a PS3 system in the mix for $399.99.

The only issue with these prices is that rascally navigation controller. It looks like none of these options come with it (like a Wii controller not having that attachable nunchuck), meaning you’ll likely have to add another $29.99. This could just be sneaky, or there could be more to that I’m not aware of.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Kinect has no controller. It’s basically what I assume is a more complex version of PlayStation’s Eye, with a swivel head and full-body motion-sensing. As has been said here many times, the point of Kinect is to just stand in front of your TV and mimic the motions with no controller at all, which is why the $149.99 seems a bit steep.

At the moment, I think I’m going to have to wait and see how these two play out, and how well the games made for them run on the systems. These prices are too high to just wing it and hope they’re eventually great. At the current, I think PlayStation has the edge right now with their pricing and compatible games, but that hidden second controller is nagging.

What do you guys think of the next-gen motion-sensor systems and their prices? Are you ready and willing to jump into the “future” for these amounts of money?

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