Microsoft has been talking about Project Natal
, the motion tracking solution it plans to deliver during the fall for its Xbox 360 home gaming console, as being the next natural evolution of videgaming. There are even some who are saying that the release of Natal and the motion tracking system from Sony (which might be called Arc or Gem) is actually the equivalent of a the release of a whole new generation of gaming hardware.
Anxious and depression hit gamers might believe that this means both Natal and Sony's solution will cost close to 200 dollars, which is not necessarily true.
Michael Pachter, an industry analyst, stated on the most recent episode of the Pach Attack show on GameTrailers that “My guess is for Natal, which is really important for them, they're going to price it at or below their cost. Talking to my hardware specialist colleagues at Wedbush, it's about $50 in cost. Now I may be wrong, and I know we're going to get flamed by 13-year-olds with PhD's in Engineering who know a lot more about hardware than we do, who'd say maybe it's going to be seventy bucks, but I'd be very surprised if it was more than $79. I really think it's going to be $50.”
Pachter's theory makes sense from a business point of view. The core gaming community on the Xbox 360 might not be too interested in motion tracking so a low price is essential to get them buying the new device. Microsoft is probably prepared to take a loss on the sale of the hardware itself in order to be able to offer more videogames to players and make a profit from their sales when the install base of Project Natal
is big enough.
The software giant will probably also announce some bundles for the motion tracking system. Peter Molyneux has since talked about how Fable III will integrate Natal and the Redmond-based company will probably offer it together with the device in order to attract gamers.