Activision Concerned About Kinect and Move

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Activision is warning that high prices on Kinect and Move could translate into slow sales, which would make it hard for the publisher to get behind the devices.

Pricing on the new motion controllers from Microsoft and Sony remains unconfirmed at this point but it appears that Kinect will come in at the $150 mark, while a full Move bundle, made up of the Move controller, the navigation controller and the PlayStation Eye camera, will add up to around $120. It’s a lot of coin for what are essentially novelty devices with very limited software support, a fact that hasn’t escaped the notice of publishing giant Activision.

“You have to be concerned about how the price drives a lot of the outcome of how big of an install base there’s going to be [for hardware],” Activision COO Thomas Tippl told Gamasutra. “The bigger the install base, the more likely that you can make sense out of your investment. So, the lower the price, the better. In this economic environment, it’s probably more important than ever.”

“Move and Kinect, I think, will be interesting new opportunities to innovate certain franchises, but probably not for every kind of game. So, we’ll have to see how much of an install base they’re going to develop,” he added. “A lot of that will depend on the price point they choose.”

In other words, if there’s not a fairly significant uptake of Kinect and Move, there won’t be much reason for Activision to support the devices in future game development – which of course has the unfortunate side effect of giving people even less reason to buy them. That makes the importance of an attractive initial price even more pronounced, as console owners are far more likely to roll the dice on a $50 product than a $150 one. The Microsoft Store currently has Kinect listed at $149.99, but has also posted a notice saying, “Official pricing has not been announced. $149.99 is an estimate only and subject to change.” Could the widespread negative reaction to the high price be giving Microsoft second thoughts?

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