Although the actual duration of the current console generation remains to be seen, platform-holders are tucking in for an unusually long one, supported by the mid-cycle "refresh" they see in new motion control add-ons like Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation Move.
But mid-cycle means the tricky challenge of reaching both current and soon-to-be console owners with the new accessories, and both Sony and Microsoft appear ready to meet it with a variety of bundle options. Today Sony continues the pricing conversation with the announcement of several Move package options designed to address the needs of different consumers.
The $299 PlayStation 3 Slim has over the past year been confronting the market penetration limitations the system's once prohibitive price once created, and the company will now drive adoption of its motion controls among new users with a motion control bundle that adds only $99 to the cost of the system: For $399, Sony has announced on its official blog
that it will sell the console; the Move controller; the PlayStation Eye camera required for it to work, and the now-standard DualShock 3 controller together, alongside Move launch title Sports Champions
Analysts carefully watching the userbase potential for new motion control solutions have suggested price positioning is critical; when speaking of Microsoft's Kinect, Wedbush's Michael Pachter has said he believes a price over $100 would "severely limit sales
." That hundred-dollar point seems to be the price threshold at which Sony wants to aim with Move; users who already own a PS3 can get that entire package, minus the console itself, for $99.99.
The PlayStation Eye camera, which retails for $40 in the U.S., has been on the market since 2007, when it launched alongside Eye of Judgment
, and has since been employed in games like SingStar
. For users that have already purchased the camera and don't need another one, the company will sell the Move controller as a stand-alone for $49.99.
The company has previously revealed
$50 U.S. pricing for Move as a stand-alone. Notably, the separate Navigation controller, which offers functionality with Move comparable to that of Wii's Nunchuk control stick add-on, is not included with any of these bundles; it's set to sell as a stand-alone for $30.
Microsoft has yet to announce official launch pricing for Kinect, but retailer listings and the company's own internal documentation
have already suggested that the device could be sold for $149 as a stand-alone; bundled with the Xbox 360 hardware for $299 and $399 for Arcade and Elite packages, respectively, and sold in retailer gift card-plus-software value packages like Wal-Mart's for $199
PlayStation Move will launch in North America on September 19th, in Europe on September 15th, and Japan on October 21st; Kinect will see a North American launch on November 4.