Microsoft tries to make Kinect look affordable

The “hardcore” casual motion control guys at Microsoft are getting cute with price charts.  In a damage control effort to deflate popular opinion that Kinect is a bit pricey, Microsoft has released a few interesting charts painting the accessory as the most affordable gateway to motion control.  How do they battle the reasonably priced motion control Wii? By assuming the balance board is essential, and tacking an extra $100 on to the “cost of entry.”  Don’t get me wrong – I like the balance board, despite it’s limited support, but I’d hardly call it essential to the motion-control experience on the Wii.  There are more than a few logical errors here. Can YOU spot them all? Comment, and let us know.


  1. Well, if we go bare minimum here, you don’t need a lot of this stuff. 4 out of 5 games on Wii sports don’t require a nun-chuck. And the DS3 can be used as a navigation controller, if one is required for the particular game your playing. So if we just go bare essentials:
    Wii – 1 wiimote = $40
    PS3 – starter kit + 1 wand =150

  2. Too much I say!

  3. I still just can’t get over the phrase “Controller Free” being used as a plus. Everytime I see it I read “Control Free”. Don’t get me wrong though, I would like to try it if someone I knew were to get it. I think I’m kind of unique though, as far as that is concerned, I don’t actually know anyone with a 360.

  4. didn’t they drop the price of the balance board as well? i could’ve sworn i remember the price dropping to 80

  5. I don’t give a crap. I hate motion control, in reality is all a scam to buy more crap. There some games that are real good and bad ass like Red Steel 2, but there are very few games that use it correctly. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a great game that doesn’t need motion control.

    The same fig is going to happen to the Move and Natal (Kinet).

    “The “hardcore” casual motion control guys at Microsoft are getting cute with price charts.” – by Sean Buckley. Man I hate the word hardcore, As long as you are happy with your games and the product that your buying it doesn’t matter, game are made to be fun and entertaining. I don’t play my Wii anymore because there no games for my gaming need.

    All of this is going to be a fun train wreck to see.

  6. Actually, the joke there is that so many xbox fanboys cried out early on that the Wii wasn’t for “hardcore” gamers. Now Natal is the most casual of all the motion control platforms, without a serious “hardcore” quote/unquote offering.

    But I guess the Joke’s not funny. Because I had to explain it. Huh.

  7. I am probably one of the few that believe the price of Kinect is about right…

    Having said that, I want to clarify that most likely I won’t buy it! It’s not about the price, but about having a game I really want that needs motion/voice control in the way that Kinect uses it.

    Simply put, the Wii controller just feels right. It seems that its basic design came from a gadget that all users at home were already familiar with: the TV remote. MS might argue that your body is the most familiar gadget you’ve ever owned, but, really, our bodies evolved to handle the objects around us, touching them, pointing with them, etc. I just don’t see myself playing a shooter by pointing my index finger at the screen, or driving a car by placing my hands in front of me like I’m clutching an air wheel!

  8. I don’t think that price is too much for what they promised would come out of Kinect say a year ago at E3 2009, but for what they’re offering or at least for what games they’ve shown so far it is way too expensive. If anything is going to sell a system or add-on, whatever it is, it’s the software. If you don’t have games that people want to play on it, they’re not going to buy it.

    For me, outside of Dance Central and maybe Child of Eden, I didn’t see another game at their E3 press conference that interested me let alone wowed me. I (and millions of other people) already have Wii Sports/Sports Resort and Wii Fit. EA Sports Active is also a multimillion seller. I don’t need to spend $150 to buy and play them again, hi-def or no. Kinectimals is like Nintendogs and even that is going to get a sequel on 3DS, the new system with the most buzz at E3. If they said Milo was going to be available at some point, or even showed Milo to the public, then I might have been interested. The main lineup of games feels like rehashes and that’s a bad thing.

    Kinect needs a wow factor or killer game to make it successful and right now i just don’t see it. And if it’s not there, that price will make it tank. Fable 3 had better be something to behold.

  9. a cornered beast shows its fangs, luckily microsoft’s fangs aren’t too sharp.

    that being said, this is ridiculous. honestly, nobody except people trying to get fit buys the balance board (or someone like me who was forced to by higher authorities ie: my parents). i mean that alone brings the cost up by 100 thus making our actual price 60, a whole 90 lower than microsofts so called “freeing” peripheral that’s less of freeing due to the fact that you have to stand and look like someone having a seizure but is for some odd reason not falling to the ground. oh, and adding voice recognition as a plus for their motion control is stupid, as anyone who has played nintendogs, while being a great game, knows that talking to a screen not only makes you feel stupid, but also makes other people think the same

    poor form microsoft, poor form.

  10. I like how they add the cost of a nunchuck into it, even though that gives you things like buttons, and the ability to move your character, something the Kinect can’t even do. Obviously their are many other problems with the comparison, but that struck me as really funny.

  11. Uh… you don’t need an extra Wii Remote and nunchuck to play wii fit. :/ Stupid, cheap goobers at Microsoft trying to own Nintendo’s good name. >:(

  12. I like how they just assume you’ll want multiplayer and Wii Fit. If you take that out, it completely gets rid of Nintendo’s price and brings Sony’s down to $130, while Microsoft still sits at $150.

  13. Microsoft’s chart is sos SO wrong. They need to add a second balance board for the full multiplayer experience. How are you going to leave player two standing out on the cold floor?

  14. To be fair, they’re using the wrong prices for the extra wiimotes. They should be using the 50 dollar motion+ pack in versions. The balance board doesn’t make any sense, but depending on whether you have the new wii bundle or the old wii bundle, the cost for 2 player wii is between 70 and 90 dollars. Or 120 if you need Wii Sports Resort.

  15. I think it’s indicative of non-joined up thinking – The marketers aren’t talking to the strategists, because anyone with an eyeball on the temporal chess game could tell you that Nintendo could price drop the Wii, or Wii fit, at any point between now and November with nary a sweat, making this chart look laughably stupid, and another talking point article for the blogsphere to stab this invention with.

  16. Their price for the Wii would be accurate IF the balance board was necessary for a good number of games. However, it’s rarely used. If you were to name all the games that have optional Balance Board controls, most of them weren’t really improved by them.
    …sooo… putting the balance board is inaccurate, unless one really really wanted Wii Fit. And in that sense: The price tag of the balance board should be associated to just Wii Fit, not the Wii.
    (if the Wii had more Balance Board necessary games then you could claim it’s for the Wii altogether)

    Heck, if they really wanted to hurt the Wii they could just put up the price of Motion+ per controller since it’s finally getting more support for good games (there’s even a few WiiWare titles being made exclusively for it).

    Their price for the PS3 Move is also inaccurate. You can actually remove one of their navigation controllers since the normal PS3 controller can be used as one.

    But whatever, they’re Microsoft marketers… the only thing that beats Microsoft marketing is stylish design and better customer support (Apple & Wii || though the Wii gives better customer loyalty compared to Apple).

  17. Also: Did they forget to advertise that PS3 Move games are $40 each while their games are $60 a pop? 😛

  18. not sure i got the joke either sean, as i haven’t seen any hardcore fanboys who care about kinect. a casual attachment doesn’t diminsh the xbox hardcore catalogue. or make the wii more hardcore. so it doesn’t make ‘hardcore’ xboxers hypocrites.

    it seems like more of the “i’m associated with a platform therefore i need it to win/look good or i’ll be insulted” logic. as if a casual peripheral diminishes any hardcore gamer’s hardcore interest in the xbox. sounds like Jack logic to me. but then, he’s still upset that the ps2-ers made fun of his gamecube. this whole generation is payback for him.

    if you are sick nasty at soccer, is your ‘hardcoreness’ diminished by other’s casual interest in soccer balls? not really. nor is a hardcore interest in the 360 diminished by a peripheral aimed at casuals. after all, we’ve already had the xbox scene-it controller. you’d think that would be worse for the hardcores than anything motion related.

    i guess i’m wondering, why are you playing the game of taunting people by associating them with their console? is this generation payback for you too? are you insecure about being associated with the wii’s casual reputation? (which does exist. just ask yahtzee. he hasn’t appeared on this site since he stopped dumping on the xbox long enough to do a few wii reviews. dissent will not be tolerated i guess.)

    the ad is funny enough, for being misleading, but you decided to do a little fanboy-baiting/xbox-taunting too. come on, i know you’re above that. it just looks childish.

    admittedly, these are toys. but i’d like to see editors steer the conversation away from ‘my toy is more cooler/funner/hardcore-er than yours.’ I know I play for the fun, not for my image. Besides, the fanboys are always around to drag the conversation back to the bickering level.

    as far as the balance bored, you’re right that it’s probably not fair to include it in the ad. it’s barely a platform for people, much less a platform for software. (zing!)

  19. yes but kinect is four controllers in 1. I’m not trying to defend it, but to get four wii motes and nunchucks is pricey too. This also has facial recognition, and a microphone and all that good stuff, but this is a nintendo fanboy site sooooo whatever

  20. @zatara: We’re not talking about hardcore here. We’re talking about price inaccuracy, but if you want to go that route:
    We’re not complaining about the “hardcore” 360 crowd that actually don’t care about the Kinect. The ones we HAVE SOMETHING AGAINST are the ones that claimed the Wii’s choice of motion controls is stupid (for a variety of reasons), but now they’re bragging about the Kinect and claiming its a god amongst other controls… despite it also being gimmicky.

    They’re the ones hypocritical, not the hardcore group.
    The hardcore group of the 360 are, however, still mostly assholes.

    Sooo yeah.
    …I own a 360 btw (and PS3), I just find it pathetic that they’re giving an inaccurate representation of the cost of the systems. …Case and Point: The Balance Board, not necessary and mostly useless outside Wii Fit – even a casual gamer would be fine without it.

    @electricfuture: They’re not advertising that it’s four controllers in one or that they have facial recognition and a microphone – they’re advertising the price. Of which is an inaccurate representation of the actual value for ANY of the motion control department.

    There’s several variables in each one that make each one worthwhile for certain people. Cheaper price (an INACCURATE cheaper price) does NOT equal: Better value.

    It’s a cheap marketing gimmick – that’s what we’re mostly against. Yes all systems have done this before, but not as aggressively as Microsoft is doing now (this thing has been advertised to DEATH and they ain’t stopping anytime soon… they’re desperate to get the audience that Nintendo had. Fact, not fanboyish rant. If they weren’t so cutthroat and desperate about it, then maybe we wouldn’t be making fun of it).

  21. btw i forgot to point out that the best ways to comabt fanboyism is to fight it whereever it is and have your own definitions as to what that is. that way you can come across as a game critic like yahtzee and get the respect of dozens of internet people. btw he’s actually made a few games, you should check them out, they are way better than the games he criticizes at length.

    i don’t know why i still hang out around a nintendo blog anyway except maybe i’ve got no life. you’d think i’d like to hang out around better people that are more like me and less like the fanboy gargbage i despise, but i guess i need to feel superior to others so here i am. you’ll have to get used to me Jack. hear me, Jack? i capitilzed your name just so you would hear me through the internet. i’m coming. i’m coming to punch your lights out and steal your candy.

  22. @Zatara

    You’re reading way too much into that. It’s in quotes, buddy. Sarcasm. The entire hardcore/casual argument is the most hilarious and stupid thing the industry has probably ever gone through, and deserves to be mocked.

    Listen to the Podcast sometime before you decide what kind of “fanboys” we are. We aren’t Nintendo loyalist, we’re just game enthusiasts. Follow the games, wherever they are.

  23. @Skotski

    That’s funny too. “Pssh? That’s not motion controls, THIS is motion controls! ..with the same games you released 4 years ago. BUT ITS BETTER.”

  24. i think kinect is resonably priced. im not gonna get it. but i want to try it.

  25. @zatara:
    You’re a worse fanboy than anyone here, you’re giving an anti-fanboyism that shows as much ignorance of a fanboy. Case and point: You’re not reading any of our responses, you’re just bragging at the top of the hill.

    And stop using yahtzee as an example. Yahtzee’s a comic (as in: comedian) reviewer. His reviews are as accurate to his real life feelings of a game as a microsoft truly mean what they say in their commercials (their “we love our customers”-styled commercials).

    He’s critical of games because that’s what makes him popular, and we all get a good laugh out of it. You think he doesn’t enjoy Wii games? Reading his blog wouldn’t help (as it reels in the crowds like his videos), but it’s the tiny things you’re able to catch in all his reviews: He has fun, but everyone knows he nitpicks at the smallest things because 1. It’s true, 2. It’s funny. He does have problems with games, but that doesn’t prevent him from playing them and enjoying them – his critical aspect is just his selling point (much like how some comedians put up a fake persona to make the crowd laugh). But really? If he honestly didn’t like most of the games that he says he doesn’t like, he’d only have a handful of games he enjoys. But hey, he’s an internet persona, worship his ground because that’s what he wants you to do (no he doesn’t).

  26. Price is irrelevant, what matters is the motion gaming experience on each console. And what console has had the best motion gaming experience for players for the past 4 years… we all know the answer to that one.

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