Kinect Price Drops in the U.S to $109.99 - Launches Presidential Election 2012 Hub on Xbox LIVE; Nissan Pathfinder Virtual Showroom Powered by Kinect for Windows; Kinect Magic Cursor App for Windows 7

Microsoft reduces the permanent pricing of its gaming controller Kinect. The new reduced price will be US $109.99 in the United States. In additon, there will be also a "permanently reduced price in North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific regions where Kinect is sold," Microsoft stated. Additionally, on October 4, the Kinect sensor will […]

Microsoft reduces the permanent pricing of its gaming controller Kinect. The new reduced price will be US $109.99 in the United States.

In additon, there will be also a "permanently reduced price in North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific regions where Kinect is sold," Microsoft stated.

Additionally, on October 4, the Kinect sensor will be available for a permanently reduced price in Australia and New Zealand.

However, there are no price drop plans for EMEA and Japan, Microsoft said.

The final retail price will vary in each region based on the currency and other variables.

Election 2012 Hub on Xbox LIVE for U.S. Presidential Elections

In other Xbox related news, Microsoft just announced "Election 2012 on Xbox LIVE," for Xbox 360 owners to watch live the 2012 U.S. Presidential election.

Beginning Monday, August 27, "U.S.-based Xbox LIVE members -- (part of a larger, audience of more than 40 million members worldwide) will be able to interact with live election coverage of the presidential debates, learn the facts about the candidates and issues from Face the Facts USA, register to vote through Rock the Vote, and participate in live daily polling from YouGov," microsoft stated.

Xbox LIVE members will also be able to voice their opinions by responding to poll questions throughout live programming of the debates and other unique election events hosted on Xbox LIVE throughout the campaign season.

  • "Live broadcasts of the presidential debates and the "Conversations with the Next Generation" forums
  • Information on how users can register to vote
  • In-depth data on the candidates and their stands on the issues
  • A series of polls seeking Xbox users' opinions of various aspects of the elections
  • Full coverage of the balloting results on election night," Microsoft revealed.

Also, Nissan's now use Kinect for Windows -- as the auto giant launched "Nissan Pathfinder Virtual Showroom," powered by Kinect for Windows.

Nissan first at the Chicago auto show in Feb 2012, gave prospective customers a look inside the 2013 Pathfinder. The response was so overwhelmed, that Nissan quickly recognized the value of this application for building buzz at local dealerships, piloting it in 16 dealerships in 13 states nationwide.

"It's a powerful pre-sales tool that has the potential to revolutionize the dealer experience," said John Brancheau, vp marketing at Nissan North America. Adding, "We're taking our marketing to the next level, creating experiences that enhance the act of discovery and generate excitement about new models before they're even available."

Each dealer has a kiosk that includes a Kinect for Windows sensor, a monitor, and a computer that's running the Pathfinder application.

The app has received several enhancements since its debut, including a new pop-up tutorial, and interface improvements, such as larger interaction icons and instructional text along the bottom of the screen so a customer with no Kinect experience could jump right in.

Now, shoppers who approach the Kinect-based showroom are guided through an array of natural movements--such as extending their hands, stepping forward and back, and leaning from side to side--to activate hotspots on the Pathfinder model, allowing them to inspect the car inside and out.

You can see the Nissan Pathfinder app in action at one of the 16 participating dealerships and in the video(s) below:

Finally, check out the following application for Windows that allows you to use Kinect connected to a Windows 7 PC to control the windows mouse pointer and perform left clicks.

You will need a Windows7 PC, Kinect SDK v1.5 and XNA4 runtime installed and a Xbox 360 Kinect. "Once you run the software you simply use your right hand to control the mouse pointer by standing in front of Kinect and moving your hand. To left-click you just raise your left hand above your shoulder," explains the developer.

Below are avialable keyboard shortcuts:

ESC key Quits the application.
K key toggles between kinect and mouse control.
LEFT-ARROW & RIGHT-ARROW keys change the scale, which is basically how far you need to move your hand in each direction to move the pointer to the edge of the screen.
UP-ARROW & DOWN-ARROW keys allow you to adjust the angle of the Kinect camera.
SPACE key freezes the video feed into the application, which is useful if you are running on a slow PC.
S key starts the video feed again.

You can download the app from URL.

Xbox 360 Essentials Pack is coming sometime in October, revealed official Xbox.com web site.

The bundle collects an extra Xbox 360 wireless controller with a TV style remote control and an extra HDMI cable. There will also be a card that's good for three months on the Xbox Live Gold service.

The price of the The Xbox 360 Essentials Pack has been set for $79.99 for the US.