Pachter: Kinect price is too high for hardcore

MS can afford to sell Kinect for $100, reckons analyst

Industry analyst Michael Pachter has claimed that the price of the standalone Kinect peripheral for Xbox 360 is too high to win over the hardcore - but that Microsoft can afford to cut it in future.

However, Pachter said he expected the device to be "moderately successful" - but without troubling the casual market dominance of Nintendo's Wii.

Microsoft announced pricing for Kinect earlier today, with the standalone device (plus Kinect Adventures) at £129.99 for the UK and $149.99 for the US.

It also announced a new 4GB Xbox 360 'S' console for £149.99. Kinect and Kinect Adventures are to be bundled with the hardware for £249.99, or $299.99 in the US.

"The Kinect bundle costs only $100 more than the cost of a standalone console, so they can afford to sell Kinect for $100," Pachter told CVG.

"[Also] the standalone price for Kinect is too high, and core gamers will be put off by the price. My bias is that most core gamers will wait, but that 5 - 10 per cent will buy it. That suggests 2 - 4 million standalone units [sold]."

He added: "The takeaway is that if they can afford to cut price on the [new 250GB Xobx 360 S] console and to bundle Kinect for $100 more, we could see a $349 bundle next year.

"That would provide an advantage over Sony. At current pricing, it's only a $30 advantage, given that the all-in cost for a complete Move package is $180 and the all-in cost of a standalone Kinect is $150.

"I don't see a meaningful threat to the Wii at these prices. The all-in cost of the arcade bundle is $299, still $100 above the Wii, although some people will find that attractive. The all-in cost of the PS3 plus a complete Move package is $479; $399 for the PS3, game, Move and Eye, another $80 for an extra Move and a sub-controller. At this price, it's not particularly competitive with the Wii.

"I think that both Kinect and Move are priced too high to spark the whole industry, but think that both will sell modestly well."