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Project Natal Pricing and Release Date Revealed 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-cheap dept.
tekgoblin writes "According to Edge-online.com, their source says that we can expect Microsoft's Project Natal to cost around $149. 'The figure for the standalone unit is significantly higher than a previous sub-£50 estimate, but less than pricing recently suggested by European retailers. It’s also more expensive than Sony’s Natal rival, Move, which will be available later this year with a game for less than $100.'"
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Project Natal Pricing and Release Date Revealed

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  • OT: Currency (Score:1, Redundant)

    by MichaelSmith (789609)

    I didn't believe this bit Microsoft's Project Natal to cost around $149. 'The figure for the standalone unit is significantly higher than a previous sub-£50 estimate, then I looked up the history of UK currency [wolframalpha.com]. Gee the pound has gone down. Look at the history since late 2007.

    • by Aladrin (926209)

      50 British pounds = 72.41500 U.S. dollars (I got mine from Google, instead.)

      So, you're saying that $149 isn't significantly higher than $72? Or you're saying that you thought the GBP was a lot higher in value?

      I'll admit, I think it was 1.81:1 last time I checked... But that's still nowhere close to the 3:1 it would take to get 50GBP close to 150USD.

  • by Michael Woodhams (112247) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:37AM (#32359808) Journal

    not (as it might have been, for all I knew) a new compiler, for example.

    Slashdot summaries have this annoying habbit of assuming that because the author is thoroughly familiar with the technology, everyone else is too and you can just reel of project names with no further explaination.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      Indeed. What would have been wrong with

      "According to Edge-online.com, their source says that we can expect Microsoft's Project Natal, a motion sensing camera for the X-box, to cost around $149. 'The figure for the standalone unit is significantly higher than a previous sub-£50 estimate, but less than pricing recently suggested by European retailers. It's also more expensive than Sony's Natal rival, Move, which will be available later this year with a game for less than $100.'"

      It would have saved me fr

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by feepness (543479)
      Physics professors having this annoying habit of assuming that because the professor is thoroughly familiar with addition and subtraction, everyone else is too.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by severoon (536737)
        It is reasonable to presume that most people here on /. know how to use google to research topics like what is project natal? It is also reasonable to assume that most will not because there's too many articles, not enough time in the day. I'm for putting all the basics in the article. It'll really speed things up for a lot of folks when there's a political controversy over a Natal game called Top Kill that capitalizes on the oil spill.
    • Oh, and for those who are not aware, Xbox is a gaming system.
    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      To be fair, the "editors" have a policy of not. Editing. Ever.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sammy baby (14909)

      Natal is a motion sensing camera for the Xbox not (as it might have been, for all I knew) a new compiler, for example. Slashdot summaries have this annoying habbit of assuming that because the author is thoroughly familiar with the technology, everyone else is too and you can just reel of project names with no further explaination.

      For real, yo?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)

      You do realize this is the Games section, right?

      How could you possibly have even a passing interest in games, and not be aware of Project Natal?

      • by k8to (9046)

        I dunno, i took a break from playing a game, encountered this article, and wondered "wtf is project natal?"

        I guess I don't exist.

        • by Blakey Rat (99501)

          Lemme guess, the game was Dwarf Fortress, or some other Linux-based antique?

          I was talking about gamers, not "Linux users who self-select as gamers, even though they've never bought a commercial game in their lives and haven't played any title newer than 2005."

    • by brkello (642429)

      I'd imagine most people on here is familiar with Natal. When it was first introduced, the summaries explained what it was...but we are beyond that now. Should we have to explain to you what DNS is or what a Nintendo Wii is? Where do you draw the line? Do I have to tell you what IP stands for?
       
      It's been talked about for a long time now. If you don't know what it is, look it up or read the article.

  • FTFA: Natal will launch in the US this October with a price tag of $149.

    That’s according to a trusted source, who told us that the motion sensing camera will also be bundled with the Xbox 360 Arcade console for $299. ... So, $150 standalone, or free with a $300 console? (Since that's already the price of the Arcade console anyhow!) I seriously doubt that.

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:52AM (#32359900)

      The Xbox 360 Arcade is $199 with two games.

      This is the same source that (accurately) tipped them off about Gears of War 3. Edge has a history of only running very robust leaks. They broke news of a clamshell, rechargable, light-up GBA several months before the GBA SP was revealed.

    • Either way, it's still not too bad a price.

      When you consider the move will be around the $100 mark with a game, maybe $50 solo, you need at least 2 for a lot of the games that seem to have been used as demos - and that's just single player.

      If you want to play their flagship MMA title with a friend that's at least $200 worth of controllers, and the camera.

  • by awjr (1248008) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:45AM (#32359848)

    This pretty much sums it up:

    http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live/projectnatal/ [xbox.com]

    Basically body mapping with face recognition. Quite sweet, but the devil is going to be in the software written for it and unlike the Wii, it isn't part of the 'base' system, so software that is written for Natal will have a smaller user base and will probably cost more.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      OTOH there's some potential that the titles utilising Natal won't be only shelf fillers, using it just for the sake of it. They could be sensibly thought out around it.
      Yeah, I don't have much hopes for that.

      But there might be another thing going on, at some point in the future - when Wii successor shows up, I suspect it will be...quite comparable to raw capabilities of X360/PS3. That could be of some use to marketing departmens of the latter, might influence customer adoption.

    • unlike the Wii, it isn't part of the 'base' system, so software that is written for Natal will have a smaller user base and will probably cost more.

      Microsoft will make Xbox 360 + Natal bundles available, so yes, there will be a base system that includes Natal. But unlike from GameCube to Wii, Microsoft will make available a comparatively cheap upgrade path from Xbox 360 to Xbox 360 + Natal.

      • by Zerth (26112)

        Comparatively cheap? The thing costs almost as much as a Wii and doesn't do anything by itself. At least when somebody switched from Gamecube to Wii, they could ebay the Gamecube.

        And having a pack-in SKU available isn't nearly the same as having it from launch. The market of games for this will be much lower than those that don't require it, so few companies will risk making substantial games after the "launch". Natal games are going to make Wii shovel-ware look good.

        • by tepples (727027)

          And having a pack-in SKU available isn't nearly the same as having it from launch.

          True, Natal was not available at the launch of the Xbox 360, but The Wii was not available at the launch of the GameCube. I seem to remember reading that Microsoft will launch Xbox 360 + Natal as if the combination were Microsoft's new console.

  • by iCantSpell (1162581) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:48AM (#32359870)
    xbox - $199
    xbox-live - $50
    game - $60
    game-pack - $15
    controller - $50
    (pre)natal - $150

    This is why I only play chess. Chess is always the latest version, and you can't get fucked pricing. There use to be a time where almost every game was amazing( Think Dreamcast. Powerstone 2 anyone? ) and it wouldn't hurt your wallet too much if the damn thing were to stop working.
  • by internewt (640704) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:56AM (#32359918) Journal

    A camera? In your house? Connected to a computer not controlled by the owner? That can do individual facial recognition? No fucking way.

    This is going to be a massive hit with the "privacy, that's for squares who don't use facebook" crowd, though.

    • not controlled by the owner? are you not allowed to turn it so that it's facing the wall when you are not using it? or turn off the camera for that matter? or turn of the xbox 360 either? what are you smoking and where can i get some? (btw lots of 360 users already use webcams for bunch of games that don't "require" them anyways)

    • Are you even required to have an Internet connection to use Natal? Can it even perform adequate facial recognition to ID a person? Wikipedia says it only does 48 skeletal points, and I doubt enough of those are on the face to recognise a specific person. Can you turn Natal off? Can you not use it altogether?

      This is not 1984. Calm down.

      • by internewt (640704)

        I wasn't sure exactly what Natal was, so Wikipedia'd too, and that does mention the facial recognition. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Project_Natal [wikimedia.org]

        For facial recognition to be in a consumer product, it must be relatively cheap to implement. Therefore it either is already being used in other places (like how computerised numberplate reading was used on the UK-Ireland ferry links for years, before being rolled out throughout the UK), or will be soon. Can we look forward to shops automating th

        • Find cable connecting Natal to Xbox...unplug.

          • by RockDoctor (15477)

            Find cable connecting Natal to Xbox...unplug.

            Option 1 : Xbox notes removal of Natal that was functioning within specification and sends message to the men-in-black-helicopters suggesting that they activate their other bugs (there is no "you are not bugged" option).
            Option 2 : Xbox end of the connector is very stiff, so you need to apply both hands to the chassis ; high voltage capacitor starts charging. If you are successful in unplugging your Natal, your name becomes changed to "smoking debris in the living

  • by Svippy (876087) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:59AM (#32359940) Homepage

    From the article regarding the European retailers' rumoured price tag:

    At least three Swedish retailers – including Game - have attached a 1,499 Swedish Kronor ($197 / £133) price tag to the standalone version of the Xbox 360 product, reports Kotaku.

    With the current follow up from TFA:

    The figure for the standalone unit is significantly higher than a previous sub-£50 estimate, but less than pricing recently suggested by European retailers.

    So, I'm gonna throw it out there and suggest that none of these people are close to journalists. If they were, they would know that these products are often a lot more price-y in Europe than in the United States. Add to that, Scandinavia has the highest cost of living in the world on average. So that would make sense for the Natal to cost $197 in Sweden.

    So how in the hell did anyone think that the price tag of this product in Sweden would have anything to do with its price tag in say... the United States? If this is the journalism rising in the place of newspapers, then I want print back!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sockatume (732728)

      The previously-leaked pricing has nothing to do with the estimate they're reporting. They're mentioning it because it's background for the article. Journalists often report the background on a story when writing an article to provide context for the particular news item they are reporting. While this may be a mind-blowing novelty for you, it's actually a component of the journalistic style which has been around for quite some time.

      Edge is a print magazine which has been running since the early 1990s.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      So, I'm gonna throw it out there and suggest that none of these people are close to journalists. If they were, they would know that these products are often a lot more price-y in Europe than in the United States. Add to that, Scandinavia has the highest cost of living in the world on average. So that would make sense for the Natal to cost $197 in Sweden.

      So how in the hell did anyone think that the price tag of this product in Sweden would have anything to do with its price tag in say... the United States? I

  • by Tom (822) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:02AM (#32359954) Homepage Journal

    I'll wait for the second or third iteration. Never buy a Microsoft product at version 1, nobody here could probably forgotten that, right?

    • by El Lobo (994537)
      I always buy the first release of everything I like (Windows 7, Visual Studio 2010, World of Warcraft, Android Phone, you name it) and patch later. Happy as a hyena.
      • lol @ Windows 7 and Visual Studio 2010 being first releases. Way to miss the point? :)

        • OP's post title: "wait for SP2." Who missed the point?
          • Explaining this would be like explaining a joke ... totally loses its point.

            Natal is a 1.0 release. Everyone knows you wait for a 3.0 release before Microsoft gets something right, from Windows to IE to Excel, etc.

            Service packs are just a way of Microsoft doing updates that they don't charge for, there's no functional difference between releasing XP SP7 and releasing Vista for example, its just that they want to sell a new product with new branding and so on.

            Either way you're talking about versions. Windo

    • For the 3rd generation of Natal, they will look at a much more precise version of control that has the minor inconvenience of requiring a physical effector and control surfaces to enhance sensitivity and prevent unintended actuations. The industry will be wowed by this amazingly accurate control system which is not confused by the dog walking in front of the TV again.
      • From my reading, Project Natal has technology in place to not get "confused by the dog walking in front of the TV again."

        Or in the very least has access to software to detect certain events after acquiring 3DV Systems. Can't find the reference at the moment, but I wouldn't completely underestimate Microsoft here.

        • by feepness (543479)

          From my reading, Project Natal has technology in place to not get "confused by the dog walking in front of the TV again."

          From my reading of Microsoft marketing materials, Windows Vista can run fine on hardware from 1996, the Zune will outsell all iPod models combined, and 640K should be enough for anyone.

      • I'd be much more concerned with light requirements. One of the major reasons Sony included a lit ball on their Move wand thingy is to defeat lighting issues. Gamers don't all play in sunlight you know.

  • I can't wait to see what launch titles they have with this. I hope it brings over some wii exclusives. I'm super pumped for this, and can't wait to see it stomp Sony into the ground.

  • Microsoft took the worst "motion controller" concept and priced it outrageously. This thing is going to bomb. I don't know a single gamer who's excited about it. How can you play shooters without triggers?
    • by flitty (981864)

      How can you play shooters without triggers?

      Does Natal burst into flames if you stand in front of the camera with a controller in your hand? Maybe that's why the price is higher than expected.

    • Yeah, the Wii Fit board sure bombed too. Those casual gamers that support these kinds of products need to be informed of how inferior it is to a handheld controller!

  • Is that the $149 will be good for all users of natal's functionalty WHile multiple players for the wii or the ps3 move may require multiple hardware purchases. Once you start pricing out 2-4 players playing simultaneously, then the prices aren't that different.
    • by feepness (543479) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:30AM (#32361856) Homepage

      Is that the $149 will be good for all users of natal's functionalty WHile multiple players for the wii or the ps3 move may require multiple hardware purchases. Once you start pricing out 2-4 players playing simultaneously, then the prices aren't that different.

      I could swear I heard bitter complaints about being forced to buy a bunch of functionality all at once vs parts at a time somewhere at some point even though "the prices weren't all that different."

      I just can't recall.

  • Instead of concentrating on the next generation of consoles, MS and Sony are foolishly breaking the traditional 5-year console lifespan rule (sacrosanct since the Atari days) and have instead decided to go chase after the Wii motion controllers fad. Now, even as the Wii fad fades, they're stuck with controllers that no one is particularly excited by (everyone who wanted them already bought a Wii, and most have long since become bored with them). Meanwhile, they've got no next generation consoles in the pipe

    • by bmcage (785177)
      Android is coming to a TV near you. So consoles will disappear, and you will download Android apps to your TV, hook in some cloud server, and happily play away.

      Oh, and Sony is making those TV's, so they are preparing for the next gen, they just keep quiet about it.

    • Its frustrating that 5 years came and went and we arent even HEARING about next gen discussions.
    • by powerlord (28156)

      Instead of concentrating on the next generation of consoles, MS and Sony are foolishly breaking the traditional 5-year console lifespan rule (sacrosanct since the Atari days) and have instead decided to go chase after the Wii motion controllers fad. Now, even as the Wii fad fades, they're stuck with controllers that no one is particularly excited by (everyone who wanted them already bought a Wii, and most have long since become bored with them). Meanwhile, they've got no next generation consoles in the pip

  • Oh, INTERESTING... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Millennium (2451) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:32AM (#32361164) Homepage

    At that kind of striking distance, I can see the possibility of a Wii price drop to $150 for epic marketing potential. Why pay $150 for just the motion controller when you can get a whole motion-controlled console for the same price?

    I'm not saying Nintendo will necessarily drop the price in response to Natal, or even if it should. But the price will come down eventually -console prices always do- and when that happens, expect marketing like this.

    • by feepness (543479)

      Why pay $150 for just the motion controller when you can get a whole motion-controlled console for the same price?

      Because the Wii has less than half the functionality of the Xbox/PS3 when HD / PSN or XBL / Game quality is factored in.

      • by Millennium (2451)

        Given that the first two things you mention have no impact on game quality, to the point where the presence of the third is debatable at best, I'd say your argument holds no water.

        The new gamers that these me-too efforts were created to attracted are not impressed by the HD gimmick, they don't want to play with the people on XBL and PSN, and they haven't been convinced that the games on these consoles are much if any fun. Given the marketing that has sprung up around both Natal and Move I'd say it's a safe

        • by feepness (543479)

          The new gamers that these me-too efforts were created to attracted are not impressed by the HD gimmick, they don't want to play with the people on XBL and PSN, and they haven't been convinced that the games on these consoles are much if any fun.

          Given both the attach rates for the Wii and the reviews, it's only debatable if you clap your hands over your eyes and shout NUH-UH! By your logic we should all still be playing on the PS1/N64, if not the SNES and Genesis and watching VHS movies in black and white.

          But don't let logic or facts get in the way of your conclusions.

          • by Millennium (2451)

            The attach rate for the Wii has been well above that of the PS3 for years now, and most reviewers don't even bother to keep their anti-Wii bias a secret anymore. Both of these are well-known, and the first barely even matters, since the market of new gamers hasn't had the necessary condition to accept the word of "professional" reviewers as gospel.

            • by feepness (543479)

              The attach rate for the Wii has been well above that of the PS3 for years now

              Ahem, welcome to 2009. [kotaku.com]

              The reviewers were all for the Wii when it first came out. The massive amount of shovelware has taught them the lie behind "it's all about great games, not graphics!" and yes, people don't like being lied to.

              The Wii is the McDonald's of gaming. Cheap and palatable in small doses, but ultimately a poor experience.

        • by brkello (642429)

          No, the power of the console does limit what you can do with a game. Otherwise, the old 8-bit Nintendo or Atari systems would have been good enough. I mean, you could still play fun games on them, right?

          Nintendo's line up is mainly party games and shovelware...that's why the Wii has such a low attach rate (and don't show me bundled games) and most people I know just let the Wii collect dust. The first party titles are all rehashes of the same characters Nintendo has been cashing in on for years.

          • I can't argue with the attach rate, we own 2 Wii games and that includes Wii sports. However, the Wii is a great game machine for lots of people who would otherwise not have any game machine. For my family, it is something we do together and that is pretty amazing. Even the wife enjoys playing it. Is the hardware underpowered for what it was intended? Not at all. The things you cite as lacking are things that aren't important for what the Wii was intended.

            Anywhile, attach rate is not something

  • by sjonke (457707) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:09AM (#32361590) Journal

    The problem Natal has (and Sony's Move) is that the vast majority of 360 and PS3 owners will not have it. It didn't come with the system originally and many aren't going to be willing to pay $100 or $150 to add it. As a result the market, already smaller then the Wii, is going to be infinitesimal. Sure, 3rd parties often produce crap for the Wii, but if you think it's bad there, just wait for the 3rd party games for Natal and Move. Only the most foolhardy of game developers will put any substantial amount of money toward Natal or Move games. These add-ons shouldn't have been add-ons, rather they should start shipping all 360's and PS3s with the respective technology. You shouldn't be able to buy one without Natal/Move. Then at least all new buyers would have it. As it is, they might as well give up now.

    • by feepness (543479)

      Not shipping with the system from the start = fail

      Just like the Wii Fit and the MotionPlus.

      • by sjonke (457707)

        Right, but Wii Fit and MotionPlus were made for the #1 game system, only after it was far in the lead. You could have a percentage of Wii owners and still be a substantial market. Also, Nintendo is now shipping all systems with MotionPlus in the box. You can't buy a Wii without getting MotionPlus. That's not going to be the case for Move nor Natal. When you buy a new Xbox, most will not include Natal. In fact the "Premium" systems won't include it, which right there seems to be saying that Natal is not a ce

    • by cybrthng (22291)

      Cheaper to buy natal than the wii for xbox 360 owners who don't want to change their library up. Not only that, but how many "gamers" don't already have the wii if not all 3 platforms? sort of a moot argument to make. Gamers will buy it if it is anything like the hype.

      • by powerlord (28156)

        Not only that, but how many "gamers" don't already have the wii if not all 3 platforms?

        I see this a lot, but am always amazed.

        Why do some people seem to think that "gamers" (whoever they really are) MUST already have all three platforms?

        Why?

        I've only got one of the three (won't mention which one in this post since its irrelevant for this comment).

        I've got access to a larger library of games than I can play regularly and enjoy ALREADY. Yeah, I miss out on some "exclusives" from the other consoles. Oh well,

    • That's how things used to be. But look around now, the Wii fit didn't come with the Wii, yet many people got it and there are many games. Rock Band and Guitar Hero have no problem moving peripherals. All it needs is a killer app that sparks the imagination of gamers and it will take off. Can they pull it off? Who knows? 10 years ago you would have been saying Rock Band would fail.

  • OK it is quite clear now that this will fail hard at that price point. I think they are just trying to get the pieces in place for the next gen where it will be integrated and are pushing this out the door to take the attention off the fact that we are overdue for some next gen hardware talk.
  • The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years, radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then, as the technology became more sophisticated, the controls were made touch sensitive ... now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant you had to stay infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme.

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