COLOGNE, Germany (Reuters) - Microsoft’s motion-sensing game system Kinect will hit European retail stores before Christmas, the company said, as it battles for customers with rivals Sony and Nintendo.
Kinect, which enables the player to control games with the body, voice and hand gestures, will go on sale in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) from November 10, four days after its U.S. launch, the company said on Tuesday, a day ahead of Gamescom, Europe’s largest video game trade show.
A spokeswoman said Microsoft would sell the European version of Kinect for 149.99 euros ($192.1), compared with a retail price of $149.99 in the United States.
Microsoft hopes to steal customers from the rival Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3 as all three big console makers struggle to breathe new life into the ailing console market. Motion-controlled gaming is one of the industry’s big hopes.
According to research firm iSuppli, unit shipments of video game consoles are expected to fall by 7.5 percent to 48.2 million by 2013. Video game producers such as Electronic Arts also see the new motion-controlled devices as reigniting the $60 billion video game hardware and software industry.
Sony earlier this year announced Move, its motion-controlled feature for the PlayStation 3, which will hit European stores on September 15. Unlike Kinect, Move employs a wand-like game controller, similar to that of Nintendo’s Wii, which revolutionized motion-controlled gaming about four years ago.
Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Erica Billingham