How much would you pay to get your hands on Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Kinect motion sensor on the day it becomes available?

It turns out that Kinect may be selling well, as the regular stock of the standalone Kinect appears to be sold out online at Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) and (Nasdaq: AMZN). According to analysts, Microsoft began mass-producing Kinect back in August and ramped the volume to 2 million units in September, which is in line with previous reports that Microsoft expects to sell about 4 million units this Christmas season.

The numbers suggest that there should be enough supply to sell a Kinect device to everyone who wants (and can afford) one. So it is somewhat surprising that Amazon itself does not list the Kinect as available anymore. Instead, the interested buyer is forwarded to a list of sellers who are, at the time of this writing, offering the standalone Kinect device, which has a suggested retail price of $150, for prices between $250 and $280.

I don't quite expect an online-auction frenzy after Kinect is released, given the potential supply, and we may not see Kinect selling for thousands of dollars (anyone remember the $15,000 PS3?) in online auctions, but a price of $280 is certainly a sign of confidence, even if one has to wonder whether a $300 4GB Xbox 360/Kinect bundle isn't the better choice: Keep the Kinect for yourself and give the Xbox 360 away as a Christmas present.

In fact, it is reasonable to assume that there will be far fewer Kinect standalone units available than bundles as the high price of Kinect will, conceivably, drive buyers toward a bundle purchase. At $150, Kinect is perceived to be substantially more expensive than, for example, Sony's (NYSE: SNE) $99 Move controller bundle. While Microsoft may be criticized for the high price, it could be a well-calculated gamble that may turn into an example of business brilliance: Many buyers could, in fact, perceive the 4 GB bundle for "just" $300 as the better deal -- or upgrade from an old Xbox 360 to a new 250 GB version for $400 and get the 250 GB console for only $250.

While we do not know Microsoft's exact production numbers of each SKU, we are taking an educated guess that Microsoft is making a business decision here and will be shipping more Xbox 360/Kinect bundles than standalone units. Your best chance to get a Kinect sensor at launch may be the purchase of a 4 GB or 250 GB bundle. If you haven't preordered a Kinect sensor but want the device on the first day of availability, you may want to budget at least $300 for a bundle (or shell out $250 or the standalone device).

Amazon's best-seller list indicates that interest in the Kinect sensor alone has faded, which is conclusive because of the lack of availability, as the device is ranked at No. 138 in the video-games section. The 250 GB Kinect bundle is listed at No. 10, the 4 GB bundle at No. 41, and the standalone 250 GB Xbox 360 console at No. 46.

That trend, by the way, is exactly the opposite of what we are seeing with Sony's PS3 Move controller -- which has launched already and may not be directly comparable as a result: There is more interest in standalone devices than a PS3/Move bundle. The 160 PS3 is the most popular PS3 product at position No. 22, followed by the PS3 Move controller bundle for $99 at position No. 26. The PS3 Move 320 GB console bundle is at No. 40.

Could that be a sign that the success of the Move controller (apparently there have been 2.5 million units sold) did not translate into many more PS3 sales? Possibly. Could the current trend be a sign that Kinect will sell quite a number of Xbox 360 consoles? We think so.

In fact, we believe that this could turn into the best Christmas season for Microsoft yet, and it has a good shot at outselling the PS3 and especially the Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) Wii, which has dominated Christmas sales in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

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