Microsoft has it’s iPad-like hardware hit, but it’s not a tablet; it’s the Microsoft Kinect, an add-on for the Xbox 360 which brings controller-less control to video gaming. Microsoft announced hitting the 2.5 Million mark in sales over the first 25 days of the product’s release.
With a Kinect attached to an Xbox and a compatible game running, a gamer can control their running avatar without mashing buttons on a controller. They just run. To kick a ball just act like you are kicking. Best Buy stores and other retailers had the gaming accessory on display during the Black Friday weekend with a long line ready to try it out at the Hickory, NC Best Buy store near where we live. Microsoft also sites one Target executive in their announcement who reported a similar result in their stores.
“Kinect on Xbox 360 was a top performer at Target this weekend,” said Nik Nayar, vice president, merchandising, Target. “We expect Kinect will be a must-have gift this holiday season, so Target will continue to receive consistent shipments of Kinect throughout December. The hands-free, active gaming experience that Kinect offers is something that everyone in the family can enjoy.”
The Kinect was also one of the hottest electronic products on eBay during the Black Friday weekend, selling for an average price of $228 — roughly $75 more than retail.
The user-as-a-controller-paradigm was created by the Nintendo Wii when it was released just before the holiday shopping season in 2006. It quickly became a top selling console despite more powerful graphics and advanced games in both the Microsoft Xbox and the Sony Playstation 3. However, sales have fallen as of late possibly due to the novelty wearing off.
The Kinect was introduced earlier this year and has been a highly anticipated release. There have been a number of hacks including using the Kinect to control a Windows PC running of all things Super Mario with the device as well as creating 3D video by pairing two Kinnects.
Here is a video of the Kincect controlling Super Mario:
Here is the video of the 3D video made with a Kinect:
Despite all of the hand wringing over Microsoft’s future due to their flat stock price and weak public perception at this point, the Kinect sold two and half times what the Apple iPad sold in its first month. It took the iPhone a quarter to hit the 1M mark. Will people now begin talking about the hot Microsoft marketing juggernaut? They might if Don Mattrick ends up being proven correct. He said:
With sales already exceeding two and a half million units in just 25 days, we are on pace to reach our forecast of 5 million units sold to consumers this holiday.
Image above from Engadget.