UNO and the Live Vision Camera: a match made in online heavenOur friendly anonymous source at Microsoft has provided us with a few more details concerning the 360 accessories announced back at E3.

Perhaps the most important involves the bundling of the Xbox Live Vision camera with a wired headset, the popular Live Arcade title UNO, and a month of Live Gold service for $39.99 when it releases in the States on September 19, 2006.

Granted, this is still an unofficial report (based on a leak of "official" info), so understand that you're probably not gonna get much confirmation from MS until they're good and ready to give it. If you'd like information on what other peripherals are coming out "Holiday 2006" (so sometime in the 4th quarter) and at what price, read on for more.
  • New faceplates featuring Halo, Forza 2, & Viva Pinata for $19.99 each
  • Wireless headest with a 30-foot range for $59.99
  • 256MB Memory Unit for $59.99
  • Wireless gaming receiver for $19.99 (but it'll go on sale in Winter 2007, unlike the others, probably around the month of February)
As stated before, the wireless gaming receiver will let you use wireless 360 peripherals -- such as the wireless controller, wheel, and headset -- on your PC. MS is apparently still considering the price point for the wireless racing wheel, as the $130 figure reported by us earlier has not been repeated in this round of releases (though it could still eventually be used). No official pricing has been given for the HD-DVD add-on, either.

Hopefully, Microsoft will provide some way of allowing those who have already purchased UNO on Live Marketplace to download a comparable title with the bundle (with or without camera functionality). Our source at Microsoft saw nothing that would indicate a unbundled SKU for the 360- and PC-compatible camera, so it looks like it'll only be available at $40 for the foreseeable future. [Note that our earlier post on the pricing rumor contained a typo in the headline which might have led you to believe a second unbundled SKU for the camera would be available for $20; the figure was listed correctly in the body of the text, but the error in the title was ours and ours alone (our source had it right all along). Apologies to anyone who might have been misled -- the older post has been fixed.]

If these figures are what the peripherals in questions are eventually priced at, our hopes of a gradual easing of Memory Unit price points will have been thoroughly dashed (the better to service 360 Core owners in need of greater and/or cheaper storage options). Offering more value is good, but dropping the price of the 64MB MU to a proportional $14.99 would be an impressive show of good will to cost-conscious shoppers (however unlikely due to retail margin requirements). Not only that, those close to running out of, or who have already run out of, space on their 20GB hard drives are probably even more disappointed in the lack of hard-disk upgrades available in time for the two-tiered PS3 launch in November. Hopefully we'll see more options (and price drops) next year.

[Image taken from the Best of E3 Gallery at Xbox.com]

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This article was originally published on Joystiq.

Today in Joystiq: June 1, 2006