Raging marketing battle could mean good deals for customers
If you're a gamer, you know that Black Friday game sales are usually a joke. Stores will toss in a couple super-awful $5 games and a measly free item with a console purchase. But in a world where Kinect and Move are in fierce competition, Black Friday might actually yield some positive results for people.
As big-box retailers know all too well, people will buy video game merchandise for the holidays. It's a fact. There's usually absolutely no incentive to offer huge discounts because that stuff is gonna fly off the shelves no matter what.
Beyond that, margins on games are already incredibly small. If a store wants to sell a game at even a 10% discount, it will lose profit on that sale. Thus, video games are usually that one big black hole that doesn't get a lot of big deals during the holidays.
However, I kind of have a feeling that Kinect and Move might change that trend. The two competing motion-sensing peripherals, both targeting huge holiday sales, are in the middle of a vicious back-and-forth marketing campaign that makes it look more like they're running for political office than for a spot in consumes' living rooms.
There has never been such a focused, dedicated, attack-centric marketing push for video game hardware ever. Sony lambasts Kinect as a useless, impractical gadget while Microsoft says Move is just more of the same.
To many, the devices are seen as strict competitors and coule drive sales of the Xbox 360 and PS3 hardware. Most people will likely not buy both products. Beyond that, they are both getting lukewarm reception from the media, putting doubt on whether or not these items will sell through as amazingly as both companies hope.
Kinect comes out in early November, so Black Friday is a huge target for it. Sony's Move went on sale in September. Microsoft has already confirmed it will be spending more to promote Kinect than it spent on the Xbox 360 or original Xbox launch.
As such, there's a perfect firestorm for Black Friday steals like never before in the industry. Whether it's huge game bundles to promote the software available for the peripherals, or actual discounts on the hardware, it would be a very big surprise if there wasn't some sort of special deal, and it could be triggered by Sony and Microsoft themselves.
If not actually on Black Friday, there has got to be some sort of big promotional campaign to get these products under the Christmas tree. If the last couple months is anything to go by, the push to get these into gamers' houses will see no limit.