Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sunday Musing

Apologies for the lateness. Internet troubles.

Still not sold on Kinect.

Mostly because of the price. ($149.99, not including tax for a motion system or $69.99ish for Sony's 2 controllers. Or I could use my Wii system that comes standard with the motion control. Price is still subjective to change because Microsoft still has not announced a final amount yet.) Even still, Microsoft's marketing is fairly lax on the topic. Albert Penello, director of platform marketing for Xbox, recently gave an interview with Gamasutra regarding E3 and the Kinect.

One thing that I enjoy about Gamasutra's interviews is that they are generally direct with their subject. Microsoft's store has the price at $150, how has Microsoft been gauging reactions of the rumored price point? And of course, being like any company, they dodge the question.

We're three minutes into the conversation and we're talking about price. … We didn't want price to be the primary discussion at the show. Our goal was to prove it to people. … We'll talk about price when the experience is what people want it to be.

Ok. That's fine. Except we've known about Project Natal for well over a year. Sony gave us a price on their Move. So why can't you all get with the program and give us a price? I'd be more lenient if this were the first announcement of Kinect. But it's not. Considering the massive amount of time Microsoft spent at their E3 press conference on the Kinect and left the new slim system at the end of the show, which felt like a throwaway moment, I don't see what else Microsoft needs to prove to the public to buy the Kinect. We've seen how it works; how to use it. We know what games are being released. So what's the hold up?

This is an aspect of marketing that I never understand. Microsoft is at the point where they are going to lose customers/sales because they won't provide the information people are craving. I understand holding back to increase anticipation and desire for the product. However, this is an item in the making for well over a year. Sony gave us prices. Nintendo gave us prices. Why can't you? There is no logical marketing reason as to why they are holding back so long, unless they want to lose customers. I also don't understand how Penello is under the assumption that he does not want to use the Kinect for FPS like Halo and Call of Duty. That portion of the article felt like a slap in the face to those who enjoy those games. I don't believe it's an issue of not wanting. Rather, people should be given the option to try. Such as with the Wii, which is one thing I enjoy about the system. With the Wii, you have the choice of using the motion controls, or moving the controller sideways and play the game in a traditional manner, or use the classic controller, or use your GameCube controller. Wii has first person shooters too, so it's not like FPS should be limited to a standard controller environment. Microsoft. Let's release some of the steam that is making your head so big and come back down to Earth.

As an aside, if they are sticking with that $150 price point, they can be sure casual gamers will not be picking up the item this holiday season. I'll go over to Sony, thanks. Not that I want either of the motion products.

P.S.: I've been playing with the new template features Blogger has to offer. It's pretty cool. Granted I need to go back and fix allllll of the quotations in past posts because you can't see them, but this feels much more customizable and more of the blog interface that I wanted. Not that I didn't enjoy the previous template, but it wasn't completely geek. This is more geek.


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