With the Kinect finally being listed and Sony having announced the pricing and packages for the Move - the gauntlets have been thrown and while E3 certainly covered games (with tons of sequels listed) – the technology was also being discussed. While the 3DS was the talk of many blogs, it doesn’t quite fall into the same category as the above two additions which seem to signal that as good as the graphics and sound are coming out of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 – that there is a market for a different kind of gaming experience. The Wii has been a top seller and many of its best games have proven very hard to find (I still recall what a pain Mario Kart for the Wii was to get for our household). The question is – are these additions worth their price tags?
I think the games will be the deciding factor. It’s interesting, but the Wii has shown both sides of the coin. I read a report recently that said the Wii had the lowest average ‘score’ on most gaming sites when compared to the PS3 and 360. So many of these games are created and sold at such a low cost and attempt to cash in on gimmicky controls that this “shovelware” detracts from what the Wii does really well when it gets games ‘right’ – generally first party games like Mario Kart or Metroid. Because of this, Wii sales have been strong. But it is not just the controller that makes the Wii appealing for gamers. The kid-friendly themes help for those buying for the family, sure – but the price has been a big point of contention. I recall several people buying a 360 and a Wii because it was roughly the same price as a PS3. Now that the Playstation 3 has come down in price, it has been selling well. But as I commented to another blog – these Move and Eye peripherals negate most of the recent price drop. With the Kinect (formerly known as Project Natal) weighing in at $150 – the Wii system still becomes the more far cheaper system (not to mention that the games then to ring in at $10 to $20 less, and really good Wii games can be found for $10 at Gamestop).
Do I think the Kintect and Move look cool? Absolutely. Do I want to try them? I do and hope to. But I own each of the big three systems. Gaming is my primary hobby. I am not the majority though, who look at it as something to be done on the side once in a great while. People will make their investments accordingly. The responses I have been reading for both the Move and Kinect on most gaming sites amounts to: Looks good, but we’ll wait and see if a) the price drops or b) the catalog of games utilizing these new accessories justifies the investment. I’ve seen a few blogs saying the Wii’s days are numbered – and maybe so but I have my doubts that it will be in the immediate future. One of my favorite comments today compared Kinect to the Virtual boy, 8 track, Betamax and HD DVD – good ideas that failed to gain traction – often due to prohibitive pricing. I think the Kinect has some amazing potential, and I for one don’t want to see it go the way of the aforementioned technologies – but only time will tell. I think a price point of $100 would be far better received – maybe if they pack it with a game or two that will help soften the blow.
What are your thoughts? Interested in the technology? If so – interested enough to drop that kind of money on it?