Getting a jump on the holiday season, Microsoft has announced it will be offering a new bundle of an Xbox 360 game console with a 250 GB hard drive and its motion-based Kinect controller system for $399.99 The bundle will also include the game title Kinect Adventures to get users started with the new controller system—and to give them something to do with the new hardware, since existing Xbox 360 games will need to be retooled if they want to work with the Kinect motion-control system. Of course, users can continue to use traditional Xbox handheld controllers.
The new bundle will go on sale November 4. The 250 GB Xbox 360 is available now for a suggested price of $299.99. In July, Microsoft announced it would be offering a standalone version of the Kinect controller system to existing Xbox 360 owners for $149.99. Pre-orders for the Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle are open now—folks who pre-order will be able to download three exclusive levels for Kinect Adventures.
“Kinect truly is a revolutionary product,” said Xbox product marketing director Josh Hutto, in a statement. “We’re bringing controller-free entertainment into the living room. With one purchase, families get Kinect and the most complete and affordable way to have fun.”
Microsoft also announced additional Kinect-enabled games; Kinect Joyride, Kinect Sport, and Kinectimals, will be available at launch for $49 each.
The Kinect controller system uses a combination of visual and audio sensors to detect the motions of a player’s body and translate those into actions within a Kinect-enabled game. The system detects body motions and even responds to voice commands to enable users to play games, or—in a nod to the couch potatoes of the world—watch movies or chat with Xbox Live users.
Microsoft is betting heavily on Kinect to extent the live of its Xbox 360 console gaming franchise, which has now been on the market for nearly five years. The sensor system enables the Xbox 360 to more directly compete with the likes of the Nintendo Wii, which has been a hit with casual and non-traditional gamers for its motion-sensing controller. The Kinect eliminates the need for a physical controller, enabling users to interact with games directly using their bodies. Sony is also getting into the wireless controller gaming scene with its forthcoming Move system for the PlayStation 3.