Adding Natal’s revolutionary form of control to your Xbox 360 might not be that expensive at all.
Videogame industry analyst Michael Pachter has predicted that Microsoft’s future release-date price for Project Natal will be a very affordable $50. He made the prediction while speaking on GameTrailers’ latest episode of Pach-Attack, a series where he answers questions about the industry. This price would contrast with Nintendo’s rumored view that something like Natal couldn’t be distributed at a cost-effective rate.
After answering the question of what 2010’s best-selling game will likely be, and not surprisingly naming Halo: Reach, Pachter covered his justification for Natal’s presumably low price point. Even though he admits that “nobody knows” what Microsoft is going to do, and despite the high prices of Xbox 360 peripherals like the network adapter and hard drive, Natal will probably be sold at, or even below, cost.
Rumors put Natal’s cost anywhere from two cents to ten-billion dollars, though Pachter finds it “hard to envision” a $150 price point for Natal because essentially it’s just software and a three lens camera, despite all of the cool stuff it can do. “My guess is it’s about $50 in cost,” he says, and went on to say he’d be “very surprised if it’s more than $79.”
He further justifies his prediction by saying: “Microsoft is not trying to make money on the device, they’re trying to get everybody to have the device so that they can sell us other things and to eventually sell a lot more Xbox 360s.” The business model he names for Natal is just like that typically used for videogame hardware, where a loss is often taken to get it out there to make money off of software sales instead. Based on how evil Microsoft is (that is a joke), I was expecting Natal to cost around $100 just because Microsoft probably knows that everybody will buy it based on hype alone. If it really ends up at $50, that would be much more agreeable to my wallet.