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Walmart Offering $199 Kinect Pre-Order Bundle

Retailer Walmart is now accepting preorders for a $199 Kinect bundle, including the add-on, a $30 gift card and a launch game -- as the company backs a sci-fi TV movie that will feature appearances of Kinect.
Many analysts have made Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect motion control device pricing a key factor in its potential for market penetration -- if not the main factor -- and while the company's remained mum on official announcements, information is emerging from retailers. Now Walmart reveals it's begun accepting online preorders for a $199 Kinect bundle. The bundle includes the Xbox 360 add-on itself, a $30 Walmart.com gift card, and a choice of one Kinect launch title, including Kinect Sports, Kinect Dance Central, Kinect Joy Ride or Kinectimals, a list the retailer notes is not complete. The announcement comes alongside news that Walmart and Proctor & Gamble have collaborated to produce a made-for-TV sci-fi movie, entitled "The Jensen Project," that will premiere on NBC on July 16 -- featuring "the first in-movie appearance of Kinect." The aim appears to be to entice viewers of the film to see the device in action. A previously-revealed listing on Microsoft's own online store shows Kinect priced at $149.99, congruent with information gleaned from retailers like GameStop, Amazon and Walmart regarding the device as stand-alone. Internal documents from Microsoft have revealed that the company plans to offer Xbox 360 bundles that include the new redesign of the hardware and the device together, in addition to selling Kinect as a stand-alone. Retailer listings have pegged these Xbox 360/Kinect bundles as $299 with an 'Arcade' console, alongside an 'Elite' bundle at $399. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has suggested that a price point over $100 "would severely limit sales." Thomas Tippl, COO of Activision, has said his company will take a cautious approach to new motion control devices, and admitted concern about price correlation with market opportunity, suggesting "the lower the price, the better" for Kinect and Move. Move, Sony's wand-based motion control solution, will cost $50 in U.S. stores, while the separate Navigation Controller will cost $30. The Move system also requires the PlayStation Eye camera, which costs $40. Sony will also offer motion control bundle packages that will offer a better value.

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