During the last generation of games consoles the PS3 lagged behind in a huge way. Outdone by its Microsoft-branded competitor, the Xbox 360, the PS3 was overpriced and released almost a year later which gave the Xbox 360 a lead that took the PS3 almost a decade to close. This time around it was Microsoft’s time to trail. Although there was just a two week window between the PS4 and the Xbox One’s release dates, many people felt that the Xbox One (which was $100 more expensive that the PS4) was massively overpriced. It also didn’t help that many people felt that the Xbox One’s pricing was down to the Xbox Kinect 2.0 camera that was considered an unnecessary (and mandatory) add-on.
As a result of the PS4 outselling the Xbox One by over twice as many units, Microsoft have since offered an Xbox One bundle that’s $100 cheaper and comes without the Kinect camera. But, for those who are ready for the functions that the extra hardware gives them, they’ll now be able to buy the Xbox One Kinect camera as a standalone product later this year.
While Microsoft’s decision to sell the Xbox One Kinect camera as its own, separate product (an initiative Sony did with its own PS4 Eye cameras at launch – subsequently selling out of them) is a smart one, what makes considerably less sense is the pricing. For some reason, the genius sales executives at Microsoft expect consumers to to pay $150 for the hardware. If it were any other product we’d be able to say ‘hm, seems pricey but maybe it’s worth it’ but consumers already had a hard time justifying the extra $100 that they’d have to pay for the Xbox One Kinect camera when it was bundled with the Xbox One in the first place and the fact that it will now cost substantially more for that probably seems ludicrous.
However, that price can be explained. Rather than selling the Xbox One Kinect camera at $100 as would seem fair and normal given that it can be used as a high quality webcam (you can Skype from Xbox One), a sensor when you’re playing motion control games and a device that can monitor your heart rate and recognise voice commands, Microsoft have bizarrely decided to include a game and make it a bundle. That game will be Dance Central Spotlight, a moving and grooving, hip-shaking title that sees you dance to the beat and melody of popular Top 40 hits. It’s been a hugely popular series for years and is a worthy reason to buy a Kinect camera, just not like this and at this price.
Perhaps, what would have been better is if Microsoft decided to release both a standalone version of the Xbox One Kinect camera whilst also releasing a separate Dance Central bundle. Two birds; one stone. There’s been significant outcry about the pricing already though, so there’s every chance that Microsoft will change their mind.
Would you pay $150 for the Xbox One Kinect camera? Let us know in the comments.