A $99 Xbox? More Than Meets The Eye . . .

OK so Microsoft’s launching a $99 X-Box with Kinect. Sure you then need to pay a subscription fee (which comes with access to XBox Live Gold), but you also get a warranty.

So that throws things back into Sony’s part in the price wars on their aging platforms. I think it’s got a few interesting repercussions beyond that:

  • It’s pretty smart pricing – totally you’d pay $29 for the subscription model, but you also get a lot of benefits. Microsoft may be trying some new plans that won’t just be for this system – but for the next.
  • As it’s a two year plan, my guess is we won’t be seeing a new XBox for 1 1/2 to 3 years.  If you’re developing for XBox, breathe a sigh of relief – but not if you just started a new project.
  • This is an experiment. How it pans out will be watched by others – and responded too.  Pay attention.
  • It reverses common methods of pricing game systems – and merges them with online services all-but-totally.  If you work in gaming, pay attention (and notice how Microsoft is even more of a gatekeeper).

Steven Savage

How Much Is That Kinect On Windows?

Kinect is coming to windows on February 1st.

Well, what can I say? THis is me, so a lot:

  • Microsoft is actually letting people mess with a product now interfaced with Windows. This is a huge move for Microsoft, and frankly, pretty smart. It builds relations, pushes technology, and gives them ideas. It's also something their competitor, Apple, is loathe to do (and I use Apple)
  • It's obvious that Microsoft is seeking a far more unified series of platforms among Windows, XBox, and Windows Phone.
  • This is a distinguisher for Microsoft (remember the Wii Controller?). It sets them apart – though it may also limit them if they get too obsessed with it.
  • If you develop for Windows or XBox, at least mess around with the SDK so you're informed – it'll be good for your career.
  • Watching what other competitors do should be done closely.
  • No Gates, no problem. Microsoft seems to be on the ball.

Steven Savage

Kinect Hacks, Microsoft, And Consumer Experimentation

So how many ways can people do bizarre and unusual things with the Kinect?

The Kinect seems to be getting hacked left and right.  Yet, it seems beyond some of the pornographic elements, Microsoft is saying very little about this.  This leads me to two conclusions I'd like to discuss.

(And, yes I could joke about a Microsoft product being hacked, but that's serious low-hanging humor fruit).

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