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Thursday, 12 November 2009 06:39

Natal launch likely in November 2010

Written by David Stellmack

Image

Price likely $80, but could be as low as $50

Our sources have started to hear more about what the future plans for Natal could look like and when it could actually arrive. The latest that we are hearing is that Microsoft is planning a launch in November 2010 in time to take advantage of the holiday buying season. It is expected that close to 14 titles will be available or support the use of Natal at launch. This is, of course, excellent news as software support will factor heavily into the success of the add-on.

The other factor, of course, will be the price at which Natal will be sold. Microsoft wants to get the price as close as they can to what is being described by our sources as the “impulse buy” amount. It is thought that in order to make that pricing work, they need to get the price under $100 for sure, with an $80 price tag being thrown around at the moment. Still, Microsoft as well as many of the developers would like to see the company get that price down to $50, if possible.

One more interesting point that has come from our sources is that Microsoft intends to ship as many as 5 million units into the channel at launch. Some will be sold in an Xbox 360 console bundle, while the others will be simply sold as an add-on unit. With that amount of units, Microsoft is banking that Natal will get a lot of attention and be successful.

As we suggested above, software that supports Natal will have more to do with its success or lack thereof than anything else. Right now, no one seems to know what titles are slated for Natal support beyond the fact that 12 publishers have said that they will support it. As we have already told you about previously, only Fable III seems to have emerged as one title that will likely offer Natal support, but at what amount is still unclear. It is likely that Microsoft, in conjunctions with the supporting publishers, will start to make some announcements around the E3 time frame as to what titles we can expect that will offer Natal support and these announcements will be vital in ramping up the buzz before Natal actually arrives.

Last modified on Thursday, 12 November 2009 10:27

David Stellmack

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