Will hefty price tags put gamers off of new motion controls?

26 06 2010

The 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo was a prime spot for both Microsoft and Sony to introduce their takes on motion controls for games in order to compete with Nintendo’s successful motion control game system, the Wii.

Both the 360 and PS3 will debut motion controllers, but will the cost be too much for gamers?

Both companies introduced their motion control accessories the Kinect and the Move, alongside an array of motion control enabled games at the expo, in an effort to capture “casual” and family gamers that have long been turning to the Wii for its ease of use and collection of games that are meant to appeal to a broad base of people.

However, both motion controls are featured as an accessory to an already existing system (the PS3 or 360) and not as a vital counterpart to play games, as par the Wii. This translates to a higher cost for the non-essential accessories in order for gamers to get in on the motion-control action.

The Move itself is comprised of three main components: a Move remote, a navigation remote, and the Eyetoy. All three pieces are needed to successfully play a motion-control enabled game and Sony is selling all of them in a single bundle for about $100. That, paired with the rumored $150 price tag “placeholder” for the Kinect according to a 1Up article, spells out some pretty hefty spending for non-Wii players to get into motion controls.

Retailers such as Amazon.com are advertising the Kinect for about $150 (as pictured above) but Microsoft representatives are stating that these prices are 'placeholders' and are not final.

So the question is, will gamers see these price tags as worth it for motion control on their respective systems?

The reception of both price tags are decidedly mixed on the issue, with some understanding, and others stating that both companies will be at the mercy of consumer budgetary decisions.

One commenter known as VillainX on the 1up article identified the strong point of the Kinect and the worth behind the price tag: “I understand the price to, because apparently Kinect is kind of expensive to make. Plus its four players right out of the box. With Move and Wii you’ll spend over 300 dollars for four players.”

However, another commenter known as RedRum6x3 on the same article argued: “But regardless of how much it costs to make, they need to realize how much consumers are going to pay. If they need to, they might just eat the loss in hopes that softwares sales helps them stay in the black, much like the PS3 and 360 console launch. Eventually, the cost of making the item will eventually go down, and within a year or so, they’ll start to see some profit from the hardware itself. Of course, that means an expected price drop after two years.”

The $100 price tag to the Move controller bundle might prove too expensive to gamers for a single motion controller.

On a different blogpost explaining the price breakdowns of the Playstation Move, one commenter known as Juno2023, stated that ultimately gamers would buy into motion controls if the case was strong enough to do so: “What Sony needs to do is convince PS3 gamers– a majority of which thought motion gaming was a gimmick in the first years of Wii and PS3– that motion gaming really is all that and a bag of chips, a point which will come down to personal preference, and budget, anyway.”

Even the CEO of Nintendo himself, Satoru Iwata, weighed in on the pricing issues of both accessories in a recent interview with VentureBeat, stating that: “Asking consumers to pay more for additional hardware is not ideal. If I were one of the developers for Kinect or Move, I would wonder if Microsoft or Sony would have a large enough installed base of this accessory to justify investment in a game.”

It seems whatever the case may be, both companies will have a tough battle ahead of them in order to convince gamers to loosen their belts and spend on their controllers.

The Playstation Move is reportedly slated to be released in September. The Kinect will be reportedly released in November.

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2 responses

26 06 2010
tubazo1989

All I can say is what most gamers are thinking/stating: As long as there are amazing games, I will support new adventures into new tech. Price? Overall, as stated above, we as the consumer kinda control what the price “should” be. Any company knows that they won’t see a profit until years later as it gets cheaper to make and more people buy them.

Above it all, the support of great games bypass any issue of price. My personal experiences: DK Bongo controls for the Gamecube and a good DDR pad have my pros and cons with why I went out of my way to acquire them. In my opinion, the Gamecube DK Jungle Beat is an amazing successor to the almost godly Donkey Kong Country series on SNES, and the Bongos that made me want a controller the first time I tried the game are irreplaceable now that I have experienced it with them. The Wii remake seriously made me dig up my Gamecube original with Bongos and remember how much fun it was. On the flipside, after DDR got a great 2 or 3 games on my PS2 and made me have fun while listening to fresh songs, the later song lists are WAY too pop-ish with their flavor, and made me realize what a waste of money this dance pad was for only one kind of experience.

Again, this is just my opinion, but I can see myself trying to keep up with both Playstation Move and Kinect as long as they have more than just shovelware. The Wii took me a good 3 years to see how awesome it can be, and now that I’m looking forward to the new Kirby, DKC, Zelda and Metroid, I can proudly say that I’m going to buy a Wii soon instead of bumming my roommate’s. What’s your take on price or overall motion controls IncreaseBlue?

26 06 2010
IncreaseBlue

Glad to see you like the post tubazo!

Unfortunately, as a reporter I’m to mainly remain neutral when it comes to topics such as this that can really go either way.

I can and do acknowledge that it will be a steep uphill battle for both companies to sell the Move and Kinect, but it appears (from my perspective) that most gamers are willing to shell out the money if the games will be more so positively enhanced by the motion controls, rather than just tacked on (a good example of this would be the Sixaxis usage in GTA4).

But as for my personal opinion, I can’t really say much as again, this is a reporting post and not an opinion one. (I do those as well, so you can be on the lookout for those! :))

Thanks for reading and commenting! Always glad to hear different gamers’ takes on the issues we report!

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