Home > Video Games (Main) > Daily Gaming Experience 05/27

Daily Gaming Experience 05/27


So apparently there are news leaks all over the place that Microsoft’s motion control add-on, Natal, will be priced at $150.  I think it’s fair, although $100 would have been very do-able.  MS has a way of charging as much as possible within realistic limits, for better or worse.  At $100 if I would have heard about a couple of great games for it I would have dove in head first.  At $150?  It’ll probably be relegated to the same category as my future purchase of a Nintendo Wii:  On hold until further notice.  A $150 MSRP for an add-on that I don’t even need to enjoy my console is as steep as it gets.  In my opinion a $100 price tag would have communicated that MS wanted current Xbox 360 users to get in on the fun for a reasonable price knowing that Natal isn’t something anyone needs. It basically would say “we know you can enjoy our product without this, but if you want something different to spice up your gaming, here’s something totally new and unique we’d be happy to sell you one for a reasonable asking price just to get you on board.”  Oh well.  $150 for a Natal and a game sounds much, much better to me.


One thing I forgot to mention about this game is it does have avatar awards.  I was thrilled when I accidentally unlocked one because I don’t see them in games as much as I expected when they were first announced.  I (inadvertently) shot the hat off of someone’s head without killing and unlocked a sweet sombrero!

Another item in the long list of stuff that pisses me off about MS and their treatment of Xbox 360 users is this:  Why do I have to pay $1 for gamer pics from a game I just paid $60 for?  You’re telling me if I want a John Marston gamer pic I have to pay $1 to get it?  I just dropped $60 on the game a week ago!  For god’s sake give them to me for free.  It’s like buying a house and then the realtor tries to sell you an 8×10 photo of your new house for $10.  Give me a break.

Categories: Video Games (Main)
  1. Chris
    May 28, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I think it is too early to start saying that $150 is too much for Natal. First it is a rumor. Second, no one has any idea how good it will really be which translates to the amount of time and people they put into development. If it ends up being only okay or only marginally fun in a few game versus it being really a game changing step in video games and ends up being simply awesome, that would dictate different prices. Third, we have no idea what comes with it. Is it just the sensor and a manual in an 10x8x8 box or does it come with a whole bunch of stuff and some games/demos/activities/etc. that are optimized for Natal (like Wii Sports).

    I mean sure, you can personally have a cut off point in your mind for various things and if your cut off for a component is $100, that is completely fair to say. Although, I will point out, we did buy one controller for ~$45 for one game. That is a steep price to pay; and yes sure, you can use it every once in awhile for certain games, but you surely are not even using it on a month to month basis.

    I was expecting a $200 price tag. I was also thinking that Natal would come with other stuff like those games they always show when they demonstrate Natal in videos. My thinking it will come with a disc of goodies is because when you make a device that is different, like the Wii was, and the Natal is way past the Wii, you need to give your customers and future customers something they can do with it right away. You can not assume they will have a game that is designed very well for Natal. They also can not expect people to pay a few more hundred dollars for a few more games the day they pick up Natal. They have to give you a “Wii Sports” type game disc. They need to be sure you have something in your possession that may not fully unleash the power of Natal but will give you a good sense of how easy it is to use, how fun it can be, and how it is the only way to play a game like the ones they include. So when you bring a couple friends over to see Natal, they are amazed, can hop right into the action, and experience the core experience MS wants you to have with the device. Early adopters can be an excellent advertising solution for a company; Natal paired with a handful to easy to learn, quick to pick up games is a cheap way to ensure the purchaser enjoys Natal right off the bat and it is also cheap advertising.

    To sum it up, your price break down is fine for your own expenditures (although in my mind, it is hard for me to group Natal with a controller or headset). However, I would have to strongly disagree with everything else you said minus your last sentence. We do not know what it comes with or the development that went into it. It is not a console so they want to make money on it and I would bet a lot that they poured 20 million minimum into development, although I would guess decidedly more. I think it boils down to that you are not an early adopter after everything is all said and done; you would be far more willing to plunk down the MSRP if it was proven to be a worthy investment. I as well, up until about 18 months ago, was not an early adopter for several reason which I will not get into here. I recently started to buy things when they first come out in a couple of different product fields. I have been burnt and I have been rewarded. All in all it really just boils down to a few things all of which are uncertain; what bells and whistles come with Natal, how many games / what type of games come with Natal, and how much did they spend on development (which probably won’t be released until a few months after the product launches). The only certainty is whether or not you are an early adopter, which you are not and I am not when it comes with console games. Any price is too steep to me until it is proven to be great and a decent library of games.

    • May 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      Fair enough, although I don’t think we’re as far away as it might seem. Based everything I’ve heard I’d say $150 is the absolute most anyone’s going to pay, but that’s right now. Like I said if there is a killer app coming out on launch day all of a sudden the price tag isn’t so bad to me. Kind of the same thing when you mention packing in a Wii Sports-type disc. My only fear is that instead of something like Wii Sports, which was unusually good for a pack-in disc, we’ll simply get that dodgeball game or whatever that they were demo-ing last year at all the shows. I will admit though that I’m not really creative enough to think of the possibilities for such a disc! Maybe MS has some nice stuff in mind.

      Right this second all I can say is the thing looks like it has potential but that’s about it. To be fair it’s still early but right now it still stands that I have about $100 worth of interest. That could easily change in the next 6 months or whatever until Natal is released. If I knew Capcom was releasing something special for it or if there was a disc included with 6-8 cool little games then yeah, my interest would increase accordingly. We’ll see. It will be interesting to see how these companies take advantage of the technology. The upcoming E3 show might provide some insight. I would like to think we’re going to see a demo that takes more advantage of the technology than those old demos, which were kind of just introductory.

      Lastly, when I said MS has a way of charging as much as realistically possible, that wasn’t a criticism but more of an observation. They are very deft at setting price points I just think they go too far with a lot of Xbox stuff, but Natal is not included in that statement.

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