Walmart Pushing Limited $199 Kinect Pre-Order Bundle

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Xbox 360 Kinect

Almost four months in advance of Kinect's November 4 launch, Walmart's cobbled together a limited-time $199 pre-order bundle for Microsoft's hammerhead-style motion-sensing camera.

The bundle includes what Walmart describes as the 'Xbox Kinect', a $30 Walmart eGift Card, and your choice of one Kinect launch title, from Kinect Sports, Kinect Dance Central, Kinect Joy Ride, Kinect Adventures, or Kinectimals. The selection process includes the option to add a second Kinect game at full price ($59), bringing the bundle total to $258.

Whether to lure on-the-fence potential buyers, mitigate swarms of early adopters, or a bit of both, Walmart says the bundle is "a limited time special value offer" that will expire on July 23.

The bundle page describes Kinect as a color VGA motion and depth camera with 640x480 pixel resolution capable of capturing video at 30 frames per second, four microphones capable of "single speaker voice recognition," and full compatibility with all Xbox 360 models (though with the disclaimer that 175MB of memory is required, i.e. those without hard drives or memory sticks face additional upgrade costs).

Surreally, Walmart and Proctor & Gamble teamed to make a "thrilling and fun science-fiction made-for-TV movie" (nee 'infomercial'?) dubbed The Jensen Project and featuring "the first in-movie appearance of Kinect" that'll air on NBC this Friday, July 16 at 8pm EDT. I've seen the Kinect clip, and what can I's another kid waving his arms in front of a TV screen alright.

Whether I want to live in a future where mega-retailers like Walmart and Proctor & Gamble cynically fabricate product placement movies, on the other hand, is another question entirely.

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