Microsoft confirms $399 Xbox 360 Kinect bundle

Microsoft confirmed a new $399.99 Microsoft Xbox 360 game console bundle that includes the new motion-sensing Kinect technology and a free copy of Kinect Adventures.

The new Xbox 360 bundle with Kinect will be released on November 4th for $399.99. The bundle includes a 250GB Xbox 360 ($299.99 when purchased alone) along with the Kinect add-on (MSRP $149.99 as a standalone), with a $50 savings offered for gamers.

Microsoft plans to have the new bundle available for pre-sale at Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart, and Target. The bundle will launch first in the U.S. on November 4th, in Europe on November 10th and finally in Japan on November 22nd.

Microsoft will also offer a lower-priced $299 Kinect bundle that includes an Xbox 360 unit with 4GB of flash storage, Kinect, and a free copy of Kinect Adventures. The entry-level bundle will also be available on November 4th.

Offering game bundles is an important step for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony at a time when consumer spending is expected to be higher than in recent years. However, Microsoft and Sony are expected to lead the bundle competition ahead of Nintendo, even though the Wii is still the cheapest console on the market.

Microsoft needs to make a stronger stand in Japan. The PS3 and Xbox 360 are catching up to the Wii in the U.S. and in Europe, but it still struggles in Japan. The U.S. company hopes that publicizing the Xbox 360 Kinect bundle in Japan will help create more interest.

It’ll be interesting to see how Sony and Nintendo respond to Microsoft’s recent announcements, with all three companies fighting it out for consumer game spending. Sony announced a 160GB core model and 320GB Move bundle late last month.