First Kinect cost $30,000

Prototype for Microsoft's shortly shipping, motion-sensing system did not come cheap; hardware now profitable at $150 each.

The Kinect goes on sale next Thursday, and the hype machine backing its launch is firing on all cylinders. Following last week's appearance on Oprah, the Xbox 360's motion-sensing system is now the subject of an in-depth article in the New York Times.

The first Kinect unit reportedly cost a whopping $30,000.

Besides lauding the device's ability to allow players to control games without controllers, the piece also reveals some startling facts about Kinect. The camera-based system's first prototype cost some $30,000 to build--200 times the retail price of the unit sold on its own. However, Microsoft claims that unlike the Xbox 360, the Kinect hardware will be profitable from day one at a retail price of $150 each.

The Times also reported that at its zenith, the Kinect program--then called Project Natal--had nearly 1,000 workers toiling away on it. Though officially unconfirmed, it is suspected that the device employs motion-sensing technology from 3DV systems, an Israeli startup Microsoft bought outright last year.

The Kinect debuts in stores on November 4. It can be bought solo or as part of a $300 bundle with the 4GB Xbox 360 or part of a $400 bundle with the 250GB model of the console, both of which also contain the game Kinect Adventures. It will have 12 games available at launch, including Kinect Sports, Kinectimals, Fighters Uncaged, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, and Sonic Free Riders. Five more games will be available by the end of November, with titles across numerous genres planned in the coming months.

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Discussion

129 comments
Geon106
Geon106

@steveguttenberg, tbf Kinect is in my opinion as innovative as the Wii. It is something new. Playstation Move however I agree is just ripping off the Wii

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

Watching these Kinect and Move videos reminds me of when Nintendo released the Super Nintendo or the Nintendo 64. Both ad campaigns pretended that their system was introducing the world to 16-bit and 3D, respectively, as if the Genesis, Saturn and Playstation hadn't been out for years already. Now Microsoft and Sony market their add-ons as if motion-control is something new.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

Is telling us the first one cost them $30,000 supposed to make $150 sound like a great deal by comparison? Because I think $150 is still pretty expensive for an add-on.

aahill35
aahill35

I was very skeptical about Kinect before I watched the "now playing" video. You can tell that they really have fun with some of the games, and these guys--about as jaded and hard core as gamers can be--seem genuinely surprised and delighted by the experience. Of course some of the games look like garbage (Zumba, for example), but that is inevitable. For a successful launch, Microsoft only needs 2-3 games that people feel compelled to play. Anecdotally, Amazon is no longer allowing pre-orders for the Kinect (device only--they still have console bundles). They've exhausted their pre-release supply. Gamestop still is accepting pre-orders, though. I'm going to wait to see the critical response before making a purchase, but I don't think that I--or any other contributor to these fora--am indicative of the target demographic for the device. This thing is going to have very broad appeal.

aahill35
aahill35

With the Kinect, the challenge for developers is significant, but Microsoft's strategy is sound. They pushed the technology out early, and the most promising game (in my opinion) is from a third-party (Ubisoft's fitness game). That is a good sign for Microsoft. There are so many different directions a developer could go with the technology (from Kinectimals to Dance to who knows what else), I think it will be some time before we see many games that really leverage it well. That said, the Nintendo sold a gajillion Wii consoles on the strength of Wii Sports--a great game? No, but a novel enough experience to drive consumer interest.

magusat999
magusat999

Oh - they went up $50.00 from the original press released price. And folks - prototypes are always more expensive than the final production models - for a company like MS, $30,000.00 is welfare money.

Kewl_guy
Kewl_guy

Still trying not to get my hopes up for kinect, it could be great, the tech seems good but i still love controllers. Plus I feel like there are very few developers who use this technology well. All of the games come out and seem like gimmicks you play them for a few hours and you then go back to Bad Company 2. I might buy one but i will wait till after i read some serious reviews. Defiantly not buying one just for one game. But at least it is a much better value than move provided it can sense more than 2 people if it is just 2 then it seems like a waste. Furthermore i can't imagine that things like their racing game actually being good. Just holding your arms out to steer seems like a bad idea.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@Xbox360Gamer15 Exactly my point. At this time there is nothing that great or fun about Kinect. At this point in time it is turning out to be a big waste. While I hope it does get better because this failing doesn't do gamers much good, this really isn't looking too bright.

Xbox360Gamer15
Xbox360Gamer15

@Toysoldier34 its something new...its cool its fun...its chill

chronolzx
chronolzx

noooo... not this idiot with the hat again

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@Xbox360Gamer15 What games will you be playing to make it 10x better than the other systems? Please let me in on the secret I would like to know why people would want to play this?

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

They need to cut their losses and announce the next gen system before it is too late.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@noturfangirl, do you honestly think that if they made Kinect, or Move for the PC it would be better? I seriously doubt it would sell more. I do also think there is a lot new and exciting about Kinect, seeing as how it doesn't use a controller at all. Move may be a lot similar to the Wii, but from what I've played of it, it is a lot more accurate,not to mention the nice HD upgrade. There is no doubt that they are trying to cash in on the market that the Wii tapped into, but that's just how business works. I'm going to save my verdict until I actually get one, then I'll express my likes, or dislikes about it.

noturfangirl
noturfangirl

@karmasbeeoch Most def. Back in 06 or 07 this thing would have been a Wii killer. But now, their are too many people that have already exp motion gaming and are moving on. The games for the move and 360 LOOK EXACTLY like the wii and it makes them look desperate. There is nothing new and exciting about them. For all the people talking about ps3 and 360's HD graphics, they look like wii games compared to PC. They should have made connect and move for pc, that way we will have true HD and motion control.

karmasbeeoch
karmasbeeoch

The only reason the wii is ahead of 360 and ps3 is because it was new at the time and affordable. The average "casual" consumer doesn't have $330 to drop on this just to play REHASHED wii games without a controller or that wii hd system now (ps3). There will be alot of disappointed merchants this holiday season. M$ should be giving this thing away for $29 considering all the Bricked 360 systems i've had sent back to them. M$ and $ony just seem desperate now.

jmace1
jmace1

LMFAO thank you guys for being good sports and playing Dance Central at the end. It easily looks like the most entertaining Kinect game.

monson21502
monson21502

those guys in the video seem closer then 6-8 feet away from the tv.

jmace1
jmace1

God these guys are ridiculously self conscious in the video specifically the gentleman in black with glasses. It's almost like that of a middle school child. Oh no the game is taking your picture and you look silly...Oh no the game tells you to lay flat on your back. You need to relax.

Saurosy
Saurosy

Well, in Latvia Kinect costs 220$, so be thankful, lol.

hagen
hagen

The guy in the back looks PRETTY AMAZED and entertained with the guy in black being so bad at controlling KINECT...lol

Larzarus1
Larzarus1

Even if its no good for proper FPS's or RPG's it'll be a laugh for arcade games and what about strategy games? I recollect a trailer for RUSE with an interactive table top, how about something like that?

Xbox360Gamer15
Xbox360Gamer15

kinect will be 10x better then the wii and ps move...im buyin it sometime

monson21502
monson21502

forget oprah, ms should have paid gamespot for this video.

monson21502
monson21502

lol tom wiggle it just a little bit.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

A lot of people are all b****y about the Kinect, but I think it's going to add to gaming. Regardless of the simple Wii-like games, I like the idea of it simplifying menus and voice recognition across all games and the dashboard. Microsoft has a lot into this, and not just for a gaming console. I expect the Kinect will be a sensor put to work for Windows (PC) machines some point soon. This will be interesting to see. This is just another step towards the convergence between PC/Home/Gaming/Network people have been predicting for some 10 years. The "Smart Home" getting closer to reality. I see a lot of comments about how this will fail, but Microsoft's got too high a marketshare in PC software for that to happen. This will be big.

Keitha313
Keitha313

Waste of cash... Buy a Wii or PS Move you'll simply look a right fool when playing it.

olliejuice
olliejuice

@noturfangirl the fact is, is anyone really gonna buy an xbox just for kinect? they might but the majority of people are gonna buy it as an add on for their previously bought xbox, and also, your getting what you pay for... if you want a below standard gaming system buy a wii... the new motion controllers for the xbox and PS3 make the wii pretty much obsolete

jonzilla_basic
jonzilla_basic

The dirty Sanchez that sounded like Kip dynamite was annoying but other than that great showing,

mark_unix
mark_unix

this product costs of components is roughly $40... so yeah, your paying $150 for basically an upgraded EyeToy.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

@noturfangirl You're one of those people that just love inflating issues because you don't like it, aren't you? "You have to buy a 360 to play kinect if you don't have one"? Really? I am sooo shocked. And. Really. It's like a wii except without the controller and whatever else you said? I'm sorry, I must have missed the whole "if it caws like a rooster, looks like a rooster, then it must be a duck" approach.

noturfangirl
noturfangirl

In order to play fps or rpg, you will need some kind of analog. So prepare for a wii like nunchuck for kinect. And yes it does cost more than a wii. You have to buy a 360 if u don't have one already to play kinect. So, kinect $160, 360 $215, your out of almost $380. I wonder why M$ would release this without any great games? Not even the casual gamer would find this lineup worth the price they are offering.

inferno394
inferno394

Wow, motion gaming! i've never seen this before! Now we have motion gaming (Wii) without the controller in HD! PASS............

monson21502
monson21502

@noturfangirl, kinect doesnt cost more then a wii, least not yet.... kinect is 150, wii is 200.. once november 4 hits and kinect helps the 360 sell out everywhere nintendo will be forced to do a price cut to the wii.. just wait:)

1penance1
1penance1

@noturfangirl u make it sound so simple. It is a lot more than that. And the Wii STILL has shovelware, so try not to even go there. The PS Move blew the wii out of the water. Thats how good and accurate it was, and im sure that Kinect will be just as good, as soon as it works out a few things. So this "charade" may be losing in sales, but it is definitely the better technology. Psh... the Wii. Dont even get me started

HappyBB
HappyBB

For a game like Sonic with Kinect support, if players actually need to "run" in order for Sonic to run, then the game will be more interesting. However, it will be very tiresome after playing a while.

akiwak
akiwak

I don't think people are ready for this type of motion controllers, especially for the target audience.

noturfangirl
noturfangirl

Its a wii with better graphics without the controller and it costs more than a wii. FAIL. Prepare for the shovel-ware that comes with a new gimmick just like the wii. But i hope sony and M$ don't for a second think they will gross what nintendo has capitalized on the last 4 yrs with motion gaming in one holiday season. If nintendo lowered its price to $169, that would be the end of this charade.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@DeadReckoning, Don't get so upset. I could care less about the dedicated server thing, seriously. As long as my connection stays solid then who cares? I have a PS3 and 360, and I like both, just stating a opinion about certain features that both have, but one having one so similar to the other after that system came out.I never called you a fanboy, but it seems like you got really disappointed when I was talking about the similarities, so I didn't want to offend you. I also bet you that over 75% of the people up here could care less about dedicated servers!Oh, I'm not PC blind, it's just that I really don't care that much about the dedication of servers.lmfao

LucidJubilation
LucidJubilation

lmao, the video was great. all the games seem to work and look fun. especially dance central. they were having a lot of fun with it...which is what casuals will love Kinect for, fun. alotta haters on here though lol. i'd hate to if i saw something i've been bashing for so long looking like it might actually be good and a success. Kinect is sold out on Amazon and Best Buy chumps...deal with it lol.

monson21502
monson21502

i still think sony and nintendo will copy this. as soon as they see how much kinect sells this holiday both of them will say we need to do something quik!! kinect is killing us...

y2kern
y2kern

no matter which way you look at it kinect will provide a unique user experience, because the kinect sets itself apart from the wii and the move. the move is a direct imitation of the wii, same control scheme and everything. despite what people say the kinect is also cheaper than the move when adding total cost. most hardcore gamers will be skeptical about motion controls, buts its up to the individual gamer to try new things. trying new things once in a while is actually good and makes things interesting.

zzamaro
zzamaro

@SniperFire17 And don't forget when Microsoft stole the nintendo miis. Don't play dumb trying to defend kinect by saying is different to the eyetoy, it's a big ripoff just like move to the wii but microsoft is even worse because microsoft is lying by saying they are first ones who created free-controller gaming when that have existed since 2003. Anyway, neither Sony or Microsoft are original. They have been copying each other and many other companies like Nintendo for a long time.

DeadReckoning19
DeadReckoning19

And just so you know I didn't just mention a PS3 game that uses dedicated, Valve uses dedicated servers for Left 4 Dead 1/2 on the 360 and PC.

0rbytel
0rbytel

To all the people complaining- how much cheaper do you want it? Lets compare to the Wii- which is practically a motion control gaming system. In Australia for $299.00 you can buy a wii bundle with a game. Add on an extra set of controllers ($29.95 for a nunchuk and $69.95 for a Wiimote) brings the total to $400.00 for your setup. That doesn't include any of the other addons like the motion plus etc. The Wii also does very little apart from motion games, with SD visuals, and terrible support for community and online play. How about the PS3? Not taking into account the price of consoles, the PS3 Move starter pack, with the camera and one controller, is $99.95. Add a navigation controller for the first player for $49.95, and a second set of controllers for a second person at ($69.96 + $49.95) and your already paying $270.00. And thats with a demo disk. No games. Expect to pay an additional $60.00+ for a game, just to be able to use the thing. For $199.00 (in Australia) you get the Kinect unit, which supports two players straight out the box. No extra controllers, no addons needed. You also get a game included with it. It does facial recognition, support for video chat over existing interfaces such as MSN, uses HD video, allows for voice control through the dash, hub and zune and gesture control through the hub and anything connected to the hub, including the avatar editor etc. The Kinect unit is an incredibly piece of technology, and until you actually compare it to the Move or Wii you can't comment.

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

As much as I hate to point this out: 1. A very "outside the box" piece of tech that is shipping on time after a rather short dev cycle 2. A game that has been in development for over 4 years and is still missing release dates Makes you wonder if they should like MS develop GT5.

DeadReckoning19
DeadReckoning19

@ godzillavskong If you knew than you know your arguement was flawed. There is a reason that the Playstation Controller hasn't changed much since the PS1 era. And for pete sakes, what does that make me a PS fanboy? I have all three systems, and currently I am playing New Vegas on PC, so if anything, I am just a gamer. As far as the dedicated servers, you know how I know that? Anyone with any sort of PC knowledge can monitor who and what they connect to. And every single major multi-player game on the 360 (be it Gears of War, Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefield) there is always a HOST (someone that is generating the match from their internet connection for everyone else). It's easy as hell to check, I don't know why you are so blind to this. Very few games on consoles in general use dedicated servers (off the top of my head, I know MAG on PS3 uses dedicated servers from Sony). It also has nothing to do with your ping in games etc. Most major games has decent matchmaking, picking the most viable internet connection from the game for you to connect to, or making you the host if you have a great connection. Go to the Gears of War board and ask em about "host shotgun" etc.