For Microsoft, who believe that the Xbox 360 still has plenty of years left in it, the Kinect motion-sensing peripheral that's due to release November 4th is a huge effort to get even more people involved with the console. Not wanting to just talk to hardcore gamers anymore, the peripheral is meant to bring the whole family into the living room, and sit around a nice game of Kinectimals. According to the New York Times, it cost Microsoft quite a pretty penny to get the first working prototype of the Kinect unit up and running.
The $150 price tag for the retail availability of the Kinect bundle may not be all that enticing to some people, but at least you didn't have to pay $30,000. According to the report from the NYT, that's exactly how much it cost Microsoft to build the prototype product. So, while it may not be the exact price point you were hoping for to spend this holiday season, it's ridiculously impressive that Microsoft managed to get that cost into a $150 box, and manage to make a profit.
Something else worth noting in the article, is the way that the Kinect unit will differentiate between two people who happen to be twins, or are wearing near-identical clothing. If that happens, and Kinect can't figure out the differences in players, the peripheral will then ask you to identify yourself. From then on, while you're playing with your look-alike, the system will give you a sort of barcode, to keep you identified as you fling your limbs around.
[via New York Times]