Would you be willing to pay $150 for a video camera peripheral that will only work with a $200 gaming console?
Microsoft hopes so--at least according to Edge Online's "trusted source," who says that $150 is in fact the price tag for a Project Natal unit, and that Microsoft is planning to offer it both as a standalone item and as part of an Arcade system bundle.
, which is widely expected to be renamed at its near-final press debut at next month's E3 conference in Los Angeles, is a video capture device for the Xbox 360 that Microsoft promises will bring next-generation voice- and gesture-based gaming without the need for game controllers or headset microphones. It was first introduced at last year's E3, though so far Microsoft has been coy about a price or release date, saying only that for this year's .
Edge's source says a more precise date is October 26, which could "shift by a few weeks either way." This jibes with the "" date Syed Bilal Tariq, a marketing manager at Microsoft's Saudi Arabia division, spilled to Saudi TV station KSA 2 earlier this month.
One thing to keep in mind is that if Natal does come on the scene at $150, it would be $50 cheaper than the $200 price point some Swedish retailer pre-release listings had pegged it at a few weeks back. Though even there, it's nearly double the rumored $80 price suggested by a November MCV report that was sourced on information from developers who reportedly had been wooed by Microsoft to build the technology into their games.
Microsoft is holding a press conference, which happens the day before the company's main press event. We'll be there on the scene to bring you the news as it happens.