Microsoft's Take On The Cost Of Motion Gaming

This look at Microsoft's internal take on the true cost of motion gaming, obtained by Kotaku, has its charm, but isn't completely anchored in reality.

Microsoft, it seems, makes the argument that you need all of the stuff shown from Sony and Nintendo to match the motion-controlling abilities of Kinect on the PS3 and Wii. But it's hardly an apples-to-apples comparison.

The same is true for this other slide, showing the cost for existing owners of the three systems.

So what is a fair comparison? That's hard to say, but lets look at all of the costs associated with all three systems:

The cheapest way to get the Xbox 360 Kinect experience is to buy their new bundle, which includes Kinect, Kinect Adventures and an Xbox 360 with 4GB of memory for $US300. You'll most likely want to buy an add-on hard drive, but Microsoft hasn't announced any pricing on those. Judging by previous experience, though, it's not going to be cheap.

If you already own the console, then you'll need to pick up the Kinect bundle, which will set you back $US150 and includes Kinect Adventures.

You can pick up a Wii for $US200 and that includes the sensor bar, single remote, single nunchuk, a MotionPlus add-on and copies of Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. Extra remotes with the MotionPlus included will run you $US50, while an extra Nunchuk will set you back $US20. It seems like a bit of a stretch to include the Balance Board in here, but if you did that's $US100 with a copy of the game Wii Fit.

One of the cheapest ways to get the PS3 Move experience is to buy their new bundle, due on September 19 for $US400. That bundle comes with a PS3, a Move controller, an Eye Camera, a copy of Sports Champions and the Move game demo disc. It's worth noting that Sony apparently hasn't mentioned which PS3 you get in that bundle. We're going to assume the 120 GB and not some specially-gimped, hard-drive-free model.

If you already own a PS3, but not the camera, you'll need to pick up the $US100 Playstation Move bundle, which includes a single controller, the required camera and a copy of Sports Champions. The Navigation controller for the Move sells for $US30, while extra Move controllers sell for $US50. If you already own a PS3 and a Eye Camera, than you just need to pick up the Motion controller.

The games for both Wii and PS3 motion-gaming have different requirements, like multiple controllers or extra add-ons like the Navigator controller for the PS3 or the Balance Board for the Wii.

For instance, while both the Wii Sports games and the PS3's Sports Champions can be played with the controller the console comes with, both also support playing with two controllers. This is why doing a direct comparison with the Xbox 360's Kinect is tricky.

One could easily argue either end of the cost spectrum for both consoles, the reality is that the cost and your mileage with any of these systems is going to depend entirely on what you want to get out of the experience.


    The Kinect bundle could be FREE and I still wouldn't go near it, I'm into gaming consoles not media devices. Streaming sports and movies, pass, that's what a laptop with a download account is for. Dancing around like a muppet with no controller is not gonna sit with the old-school NES generation gamers, that's when it's time to go outside and get some fresh air. There's no denying that it's going to sell Millions but so did Avatar and that was junk, anything new is appealing to children, it's like the Justin Beiber of the gaming world.

      Please don't assume you speak for everybody. I'm a "NES generation gamer", and I DO want to "dance around like a muppet", because I think dancing and dance games are fun. If you don't, then nobody is holding a gun to your head to buy this device.

      "Anything new is appealing to children"

      Seriously? Are you like 100 years old or something?

      Another NES generation gamer (hell I'm Atari 2600 and Vectrex gen) and I'm looking forward to Kinect. I have no problem mixing my gaming with movement, muppet like or otherwise. Just relax, go put on another coat of black nail polish and stick to your controller and uber cool mixed case sPeLLiNG.

    Why did they include the balance board for the Wii?
    Just a bullshit means to bump up the price?

      MS way of comparing full body control experience. i.e. The wii board competes with the kinect fitness game.

      The wii would be cheaper if they didn't include it. Which MS isn't going to have for obvious reasons.

    Kinect had such promise, and then it flopped, however Move has some hard core games coming out for it sooo GIMMI MOVE.

    Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics.

    I love how with a little number fiddling you can prove anything.

    Move is probably the best but that will still fail. I heard that no one was at the Move area at E3

    Microsoft have a strange definition of total cost of ownership. Traditionally TCO helps compare costs other than the upfront expense. Costs like ongoing fees and time lost due to failure...

    My feeling is that in that first diagram the wii has 3 games so to be totally fair you have to add 120$ for an extra 2 kinect games. Woops! Does that make the kinect bundle more expensive?

    One thing that does need to be noted here is that you can use a DS3 or Sixaxis instead of the Navigation Controller (although the NC would likely be more comfortable to hold in one hand). So that can potentially mean knocking $60 off the total Move price. Also, the PlayStation Eye has already had a bunch of games released for it, so the amount of new software opened up to a non-PSEye owner who buys the starter kit will be larger than for a new buyer of Kinect. And of course most Move games can be played using only one Move controller. It would seem to me that Kinect is only the cheaper option if you plan on getting everything Move-related all at once, and don't forget those who already have a PSEye. I'd call this a tie, really - there's too much dependence on what the individual customer wants or owns.

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