Following plenty of speculation after its E3 reveal, Microsoft is finally confirming the pricing of Kinect, as well as game and console bundles it will launch on November 4.
Kinect Adventures for everyone, whether you like it or not
According to Greenberg, giving consumers a Kinect sensor without the software "wouldn't be the type of experience we really wanted you to have as the first impression." With that said, he did confirm that the sensor will launch with "how-to" and "how it works" software to introduce people to what Kinect can do. And on November 4, the Xbox 360 will be updated with a new Dashboard that can be navigated with your hands and voice via Kinect, as shown at E3.
And what of the redesigned Dashboard screens that hit the Internet last week?
Marketing Kinect won't stop with the Bieber
"It's a non-traditional product, and we've definitely taken a non-traditional approach," says Greenberg.
"This is the first time where we feel we have a product that appeals to young or old, male or female, whether you've played a game before or not," Greenberg tells me. "And to reach that scale of broad audience, you really have to go in a variety of different places, in a variety of different ways."
One example: Even teenybopper sensation Justin Bieber is being used as a vehicle to promote the product. The floppy-haired teen recently opened one of his concerts with video footage of him and his entourage playing a number of Kinect titles. Whether the crowd went wild upon seeing Kinect Adventures, or if teenage girls will just scream at anything Bieber-related, is unclear. Kinect has also been featured on a number of network television shows, including a spot on The CW's Smallville back when it was still known as "Project Natal."
Try before you buy, globally
"We realize this is an experience that you can't just see and believe; you actually have to experience it," Greenberg says.
Microsoft is currently touring the United States with Kinect titles, allowing consumers to get a taste of the sensor in action. Plans for a global tour are also in place, with Greenberg confirming that Kinect will be playable at gamescom in Germany this August.
Kinect first-party titles not inferior to full-priced titles, despite lower pricing
"We realized that these products are talking to, for us, an entirely new audience -- a more value-focused consumer," Greenberg says of the $49.99 price point for first-party Kinect titles. The distinction, he says, is not in the quality of the titles; the lower price isn't an admission that the games aren't necessarily full-featured traditional products.
"I think you'll find that these games have the level of modes and depth and detail -- the multiplayer experiences, the Live integration -- that you see in our other retail games," he says. "The difference is, these games are built from the ground up designed to be used with the Kinect sensor, allowing you to play controller-free."
"The price point for us is just a strategy for us as we're talking about consumers," he explains. "It has nothing to do with the quality of the games."
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