November 16, 2010

1M Kinect Units Sold In 10 Days

Microsoft has announced that their new, hands-free, Xbox 360-compatable Kinect game controllers have sold over 1 million units in just 10 days.

"This is a great start to the holiday season," Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, told AFP reporters on Monday. "We will continue to work with our retailer partners to keep pace with high demand and deliver against our plan to sell more than five million Kinect sensors worldwide by the end of this year."

Kinect, which went on sale in the United States on November 4, is a motion-detecting system that plugs into Microsoft's existing video game hardware in order to allow players to play select software titles without the use of a standard controller. The device uses a 3D camera and motion-capture technology to essentially turn the user's body into the input device.

The system, which retails for $150 when sold separately and is also available in a bundle with the primary Xbox 360 hardware, is currently available in over 30,000 American stores, according to Reuters. Those retailers include Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, GameStop, and Amazon.com. Kinect has been available in Europe since November 10, and will go on sale throughout Asia on Thursday.

Microsoft faces competition from Sony's Move, a controller-based motion gaming system released approximately two months ago, and Nintendo's Wii, the first of the three motion-controlled video game players to be released.

According to InformationWeek.com, the Move--which requires the Sony PlayStation 3 system to operate--sold approximately 1 million units in its first 30 days of availability. The Wii has sold more than 30 million units in the U.S. alone, according to statistics provided to the media by Nintendo.

"The Kinect as hardware is great, but there's plenty of room for software engineers and UI designers to improve," Ross Miller of Engadget wrote in a November 4 review of the device. "We think there's some fighting spirit inside that glossy shell, but it's definitely got a lot of growing up to do first."

"The comparison everyone wants to make--including Microsoft and Sony themselves--is how Kinect stacks up against the Move," he added. "Picking up Move starter bundle and an extra controller is the same price, and in that setup you also get a two-player experience"¦ But really, we feel like both systems--along with Nintendo and the Wii--are just taking a different approach to the same issue."


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