Microsoft Corp. is very optimistic about market performance of its Kinect motion sensing device for Xbox 360 game system. The company hopes to sell more Kinect products than it shipped the original Xbox 360 consoles during the first Holiday season.
"We have also done our own research. We believe this will be the biggest launch in our history, for Xbox. We will sell more Kinect sensors than we did [systems] at Xbox 360 launch. Our estimates [are] that we will sell in excess of 3 million units this holiday," said Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft Xbox product director, in an interview with Gamasutra web-site.
Earlier independent market analysts said that Microsoft built around two million Kinect device a month and had intentions to sell over three million devices - both bundled with the new Xbox 360 slim console as well as separately - during Q4 2010. Microsoft now confirms plans for a very aggressive product launch and bases its optimism on feedback from retailers.
"Our key indicators are feedback from retailers - I think you would be surprised at how sophisticated they are, and they really have the pulse of the market. They are looking at preorders, they are talking to customers," said Mr. Greenberg.
Microsoft will have fifteen titles with Kinect support at launch and it hopes that everyone will find something for himself/herself. Thanks to the fact that Kinect, previously known as Natal, brings a whole new gaming experience, Mr. Greenberg is confident that it would be useful both for existing consumers as well as novices. The high-ranking executive reaffirmed Microsoft's view that Kinect refreshes the Xbox 360 platform so substantially that it will prolong the lifespan of the console.
We are five years in. We think we have another good five years-plus, but that remains to be seen. What usually happens is in the later years of the life cycle, you usually get less innovative, lower quality experiences, or you get more flooding of the market. [...] I think what [Kinect] enables us to do is to keep things fresh, enable developers to bring new IP to the market, and enables people to have new experience," said Aaron Greenberg.
The Kinect sensor can be plugged directly into any Xbox 360 and features a camera, audio sensors, and motion-sensing technology that tracks 48 points of movement on the human body. Kinect has the abilty to recognize faces and voices. Kinect can perform full-motion tracking of the human body at 30 frames per second.
Microsoft Kinect will become available on November, 4, in the U.S.; on November, 10, in Europe; on November, 18, in Australia and on November, 20, in Japan. Microsoft Kinect motion sensor (previously known as code-named Natal) will be more expensive in Europe than it is in the U.S.: the recommended price for Euro zone is €149.99 ($191), whereas the official price-tag for the U.K. is £129 ($202, €156). In the USA the device will cost $149.