Microsoft’s motion control system Kinect won’t be released until early November, but Walmart has become the first store to take pre-orders on bundles with games. The deal reveals that the games won’t be cheap.
While several retailers, including Microsoft, are taking pre-orders on the device itself at around the $150 mark, Walmart is offering the Kinect, a choice of one game, and a $30 store card for $199. It’s also offering the option of adding one additional game for $59.96, which will certainly invite comparisons between the “casual” games on offer and similarly-priced high-profile releases of more sophisticated games.
The five games on offer are:
- Kinect Dance Central
- Kinect Joy Ride
- Kinect Sports
- Kinect Adventures
The pricing means that whether the deal is good value depends on how likely you would have gone to spend $30 at Walmart anyway. If you’re not going to make use of the store card, the bundle only really saves $10, and the chances are you’ll be able to get that much off a game relatively soon after the Kinect launches.
Surprisingly no retailers have yet confirmed a bundle which includes the Xbox 360 console itself. Then again, giving the timing, such offers are probably being held back for Black Friday and the rest of the holiday shopping season.
Intentional or not, there’s some symbolism in Walmart being the first retailer to sell Kinect bundles. Despite the high pricing, Microsoft will likely be hoping it can appeal to a mass market, casual gaming audience as well as the hardcore gamer, replicating the success of the Wii motion control with people who wouldn’t otherwise have played or bought games. And Walmart is about as mass market, casual audience as it gets.