No one can deny that Microsoft’s Kinect is one revolutionary piece of kit. It wowed audiences when it was first revealed to the public and the admiration has turned into great sales for Microsoft and for the Xbox 360. The Kinect allows for a new level of control for video games – one that does not require you to hold any sort of controller. The Kinect camera “sees” you in three dimensional space and depending on the game translates what you do to movements within the game or application. [Read more…]
So Microsoft just announced not just one but two new phones. Calling them Kin One and Kin Two (no, seriously), these are Windows Phones designed specifically for people who are actively navigating their social lives. Brought to life through partnerships with Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and Sharp Corporation, KIN is designed to be the ultimate social experience that blends the phone, online services and the PC with breakthrough new experiences called the Loop, Spot and Studio. KIN will be exclusively available from Verizon Wireless in the U.S. beginning in May and from Vodafone this autumn in Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The thing is, didn’t just Microsoft announce Windows Phone 7? And isn’t everyone like praising Microsoft’s new phone operating system to high heavens? So why is Microsoft going to release another phone that’s social network-centric, but has no app store – or even any ability to create apps at all? And why make one that is competing with Windows Phone 7? It really sounds like a dumb marketing strategy, but when you take a closer look at it, it’s actually brilliant.
According to Engadget:
Last year, something like 200 million smartphones were sold. Lots. But that’s only one sixth of the total phone market of 1.2 billion phones, as reported by Gartner.
No matter how fast the iPhone market is growing, and how badly Microsoft wants to get back into that business, there’s other action to be had. And if Kin’s cost is kept low—both the handset price and the monthly data fees—then going after Samsung and LG and Nokia, hoping to draw people away from their cheap generic phones, could be easier than fighting Apple and Google (and BlackBerry and Palm). If so, then there’s success to be had, too.
Ah, there we go. The Kin is made for people who would like to be connected with their social networks all the time without worrying about apps to install or anything of that sort. I can see it now: a Windows Phone 7 phone for me and my needs, and probably a Kin for my 16-year old cousin who only wants to tweet and post to Facebook. Sweet.
The Xbox 360 Pro will be phased out, with remaining stocks priced at $249.99, while the Xbox 360 Arcade will retail for $199.99 (£159.99).
Ahead of their E3 related announcements on Monday morning, Microsoft have made some announcements regarding the state of play for the Xbox 360. First up, there’s a discount of the 20Gb version by $50 (no discount on the Arcade or Elite though). Next up is that the 20Gb is effectively being replaced by a 60Gb console, which will be available from August. This will cost around $350.
Below is the official Microsoft press release:
Redmond, Washington—Microsoft is giving consumers more gigabytes for their buck. The company today announced an Xbox 360® console with triple the storage space of the original console, but for the same price of $349 (U.S.) estimated retail price.
Available in retail stores in the U.S. and Canada starting in early August, the upgraded Xbox 360 will include a 60GB hard drive for storing the growing wealth of digital entertainment available for the console, including music, movies, television shows, and game content. In addition, Microsoft today dropped the price of its 20GB Xbox 360 console in the U.S. and Canada to just $299 (U.S.) (ERP) while supplies last, a savings of $50.
“We know consumers need more and more space to store the amazing digital content Xbox 360 offers, and we’re giving it to them at no extra charge,” said Albert Penello, Xbox director of product management at Microsoft. “No one device offers the depth and breadth of entertainment that Xbox 360 can deliver, and now you’ll have three times the storage to manage all that great content.”
Xbox 360 is just one of three Xbox 360 gaming and entertainment systems Microsoft offers. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Arcade, which comes with a 256MB memory unit and five Xbox LIVE Arcade games, is a value for the whole family for $279 (U.S.) (ERP), and the premium Xbox 360 Elite console is available with a 120GB hard drive for $449 (U.S.) (ERP).