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Microsoft: 2.5 million Kinect units sold

Due to a strange psychosis which swept the US last Thursday, millions stood outside before the sun rose on Friday morning to be among the first to buy shopping carts full of things they don't need. The mass psychotic episode, which scientists are calling "The Event," has since abated, and while its full impact is still being tallied, Microsoft has announced that it pushed the total number of Kinect units sold to over 2.5 million worldwide.

“We are thrilled about the consumer response to Kinect, and are working hard with our retail and manufacturing partners to expedite production and shipments of Kinect to restock shelves as fast as possible to keep up with demand,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, to the person writing the press release.

“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.”


Above: If you stacked every Kinect unit sold end-to-end, they'd probably fall over

According to Microsoft, retailers, reviewers and analysts are calling Kinect "a must-have gift this holiday season." We're pretty sure that's what Microsoft is calling it, but OK, someone else probably said it too.

Meanwhile, The Event remains unexplained. Surprisingly, NBC has apparently been covering the phenomenon every Monday since September, but I haven't found anyone who can offer any details about it. Many only recall a series of slow zooms, and claim that they have no idea what's on NBC aside from 30 Rock, Community, The Office, and that one douchebag.

Nov 29, 2010

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22 comments

  • Pruman - December 2, 2010 5:19 p.m.

    @PushesPaperInACircle: Good point about launch software. It's rare that you get a launch game that is both a complete experience and properly utilizes all of the hardware's features. I absolutely, 100% agree that Wii games haven't used the hardware effectively. I love my Wii, but I was hoping that some of the energy that went into cool touch screen ideas on the DS and iPhone would be applied to motion control. Waggling has done nothing but replace button-pressing. Where are the new genres? Scratch that, where are the new genres that don't suck? (I've got anything with "Wii" in front of it in my crosshairs here.) I think the reason there's so much wasted potential in motion controls is that you are limited to actions that you can do in real life. I play video games in order to experience things that would be either impossible or very hard to do in real life. Vanquish is a great example here - nuclear-powered supersuits with built-in jetpacks don't exist in real life, so how do you simulate using one with motion controls? Would motion controls be able to recreate the experience of jetting and cartwheeling around like a coked-up grasshopper while popping Commie robots in bullet time? I doubt it...but hey, that would be a great idea for Kinect. Fall to your knees to boost, point your finger at the screen like a gun to aim, bend over backwards like Neo for bullet time, punch at the screen for melee. Hell, I'd buy a Kinect for that. :) I am going to take your advice and relax. Kinect and its audience can coexist with us. However, if this site's game industry "crumple" prediction comes true, it will occupy the same reviled perch as the 32X and Virtual Boy in my eyes. Finally...if you look Last Action Hero as a satire and not an action movie, it is one of the funniest movies ever made. Scott Pilgrim was fun, but a lot of its appeal came from winking at you and saying "Hey look! It's something you've seen or heard in a video game or anime! Isn't that cool?!?!?" That's no substitute for a solid story, which I think Scott Pilgrim lacked. Maybe the crap story was intended as another call-out to video games, but who knows.
  • PushesPaperInACircle - December 2, 2010 1:47 p.m.

    @Pruman I don't think its fair to judge new technology by its launch games. I bought Madden and DOA2 for the PS2 and neither rocked my world now that I think about it. The Kinect as an add on to something that is "cash cow" successful. One of the first rules of marketing is not to alienate existing customers while trying to attract new ones. We'll be fine. Take a deep breath. I agree that The Wii's recent failures could also be attributed to the fact that they have not developed good games using the technology. My advice is not to worry about what other people buy. You don't have any control over what other people buy save telling your friends and loved ones when asked: "that is crap, and here is why" or "this was enjoyable, but hey, its your money". Perhaps refer newer gamers to resources (plug the site) that share your views or have a more "refined taste". I think their is room in the market to have a Big Mac once in a while (Vanquish, Ghostbusters) as well as a steak (Fallout, Batman:AA). I do agree that good games reviews keep or friends and families from rustling though the garbage behind the Gamestop to get fed (Armored Core 4 or most Wii party games). I a way, and this might sound crazy, but it might be better if people dropped comparisons to the Wii. Here is my argument why: The Review on this site of the Return to Donkey Kong Country stated that the game itself was great, save for the waggle control. Any other system and this function would just be another button. I feel the majority of the software created for that platform hasn't utilized the potential of its motion sensor. You could blame this on 3rd party development sticking to more traditional/familiar controls. As a developer trying to make money though, I see the struggle to develop something innovative for a platform with a large install base, while throwing away your chance at making money on other platforms (PS3/360) where the controls and concepts won't easily translate or port. The Kinect has to develop games that use its technology to its potential, and in a hurry. Good debate. I'm planning on being careful, yet hopeful. You bought a Wii, I got burned on the HD/DVD drive. Ewww. Maybe a good Talkradar question of the week could be "what shovelware did you secretly enjoy?" One final question though that echoes through my head. You really think Last Action Hero was your example of a good hamburger? I would have went with Scott Pilgrim.
  • Pruman - December 1, 2010 8:52 p.m.

    @PushesPaperInACircle: I agree that it is in gamers' best interest for our hobby to be more shared and accepted. If more people play video games, perhaps they'll get better informed, which will delegitimize the crusading morons who get in front of a camera and say dumb things about games giving points for killing cops or letting kids watch hardcore porn. Additionally, if casuals realize the difference between greatness and crap, then the whole shovelware issue becomes moot. The problem is that I have no confidence in casual gamers' ability to either judge a good game on their own, or go out of their way to look for any info on a game besides what's on the back of the box or what a big marketing campaign tells them. The casual market is like a dog who's eaten dry dog food all of its life that one day gets Big Macs instead. It won't know or care that things like Five Guys or Ruth's Chris exist and are better, because to it the Big Mac is both the most delicious thing in the world and a million times better than what it knew. My fear is that the great majority of "gamers" will tell the publishers that all they want are Big Macs (shovelware), which will put Five Guys and Ruth's Chris (traditional developers) out of business or force them to copy the Big Mac. Granted, that hasn't happened in real life, but the possibility is there. :) Also, film isn't the best industry to demonstrate that people can discern quality from crap. Lots of crap movies make a shedload of money (Crystal Skull), while lots of great movies crash and burn (Last Action Hero). HOWEVER...if most of the crap that's currently out for Kinect crashes and burns in favor of something like Dance Central, I will happily eat my words! Finally, the idea of Kinect as a gateway drug to better games is great in theory. The problem is that Kinect, Wii, and to a lesser extent Move are all marketed to audiences who a) had no interest in traditional video games in the first place, and b) actively fear traditional video games, whether due to complicated controls or the aforementioned self-righteous morons. This theory also ignores the fact that "harder stuff" is available on the Wii, but outside of Nintendo franchises it tends to get ignored by the masses. My chief grievance against the Kinect is that it is a typical Microsoft copy-kill strategy. The idea of Kinect is admittedly cool, but what did they do with it? Re-make all of the same games Nintendo already made four years ago. I am willing to give Kinect a chance if I see something truly revolutionary for it, but I already got burned by buying into the Wii based on potential, and I won't make that mistake again. Whew...that was long-winded. Hopefully the idea that I have principled reasons for being against Kinect, and am not just knee-jerk hating, got across. As for cribbing from PA...they didn't give me this idea, I've been saying it since E3.
  • PushesPaperInACircle - December 1, 2010 4:08 a.m.

    @Pruman Shovelware can come from any direction, and you don't need a Kinect to start pushing it. Plenty of FPS clones to go around. I think you're overreacting. This product is not for you and me. Imagine a family who already bought their 15 year old son a 360, and now for another $150, we can sell games to the whole family. After a couple hours with Kinect dad/mom/little sis might come over and ask "what else does this thing do?" Think of it as a gateway drug to the harder stuff. We offer you Kinectimals, but you work your way up to Fallout and Starcraft. Think about establishing lateral markets. If the Wii was such a threat, it would have moved more software, rather than just collecting dust. The gaming industry is larger than film now. Its time to act like it. In both industries larger studios have churned out art and crap alike. We just have to know the difference, and make informed purchases. Lets try something radical and be inclusive. Not hardcore, softcore, music, shooter, platformer or JRPG gamers...Lets just be gamers. If (and this is a big IF) Kinect turns out good software, support it. If not, let it sit on the shelves. That's how you get quality product. Finally, as for the boys at Penny Arcade, they do good work. I just don't feel obligated that they have to speak for me all the time, and I have this increasingly rare tendency to do my thinking for myself...
  • Pruman - November 30, 2010 5:26 p.m.

    Visit the Wii software aisle at your local Best Buy. That is what Microsoft and Sony have in mind with the Kinect and Move.
  • Pruman - November 30, 2010 5:17 p.m.

    @PushesPaperInACircle: I have no problem rooting against this thing, because it will do the OPPOSITE of what you said (create new franchises). If the industry learns that low cost, bottom-of-the-barrel shovelware is the way to make money, hardcore gaming will quickly become a thing of the past, and we will see nothing but dancing, exercise, and brain training "games." The Kinect is like the Wii, except that it skipped completely over the "potential" phase (well, maybe it had it briefly between when it was introduced as a concept and when this year's Microsoft's E3 show destroyed any possible interest from real gamers) and went directly to the "blow out as much crappy shovelware as fast as possible" phase. I don't know what the future of video games should look like, but I sure as hell don't want it to look like this. Penny Arcade is with me on this one: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/11/17/
  • PushesPaperInACircle - November 30, 2010 1:36 p.m.

    I'm very skeptical about its chances, but I don't think "hardcore" gamers (of which I would consider myself) should root against it. More money flowing into the industry to make games, increases the chance that people will invest in the medium. We have to trick developers into investing in new IP's and properties with potential. (see Dead Space and Mirror's Edge article)
  • jmcgrotty - November 30, 2010 9:37 a.m.

    And only 2.49 million people with buyers remorse. Better odds than I expected.
  • k1w1bug - November 30, 2010 7:43 a.m.

    So with an install base of around 35 million or so 2.5 mill doesn't sound that great. Or am I missing something?
  • Tacobob - November 30, 2010 7:13 a.m.

    So..When is Sony going to release their 'Move'?
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - November 30, 2010 3:44 a.m.

    @FauxFurry Thank you for your considered comments, and thank you much, much more for getting my joke about The Event.
  • FauxFurry - November 30, 2010 3:38 a.m.

    @ultimatepunchrod-That's all the space that a new/casual gamer needs to store game save data. The Wii has about 512 mb of internal memory,so that's going to serve everyone who only bought the Xbox 360 for the Kinect games for a few years of new releases. Of course,if they find that the more complex games are to their liking and they want add-ons,they're going to have to buy a harddrive, making it a 'slight' upgrade to the Arcade models they had a few years ago which has about the same storage capacity as a Wii which practically necessitated an instant upgrade,defeating the purpose of having the internal memory device at all save for holding a little data to be transferred between harddrives without bothering with a transfer cable.
  • FauxFurry - November 30, 2010 3:23 a.m.

    Motion Controls are as pointless a gimmick as motion is in pictures. Were the works of Vincent Van Gogh any less moving because they didn't animate the way that Theo Van Gogh's works did? If people judged the potential of the cinema using 'The Sneeze' or any other penny arcade feature as exhibits, we'd all still be sitting aroung reading anthologies then the novels their stories are collected in after completion,going to watch stage-plays and regaling one another with anecdotes (largely plagiarized from the tales of other people who are even bigger liars and urban legends). Motion Controlled gaming still in its infancy, so it's a tad unfair to expect an infant to wipe its own backside,let alone be a masterful orator and statesman. What Motion Control Games need now is, at the very least, more games that are the equivalent of the movies that showed that cinema was growing into something bigger than a one-shot 'Movie' gimmick such as Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplain films,though something of a grander scale on the par of Metropolis or Nosferatu would be much appreciated. (How about a Tron game? Don't take that too seriously,please.) Between the big three Motion Control peripherals on the market at present,it's clear that an eager,receptive audience is out there. It's unfortunate that right now that most Motion Controlled games are essentially 'Boxing Cats' with a shoddy waggle-based interface. If devices such as Kinect do well enough at garnering mainstream appeal,maybe that Oprah's game club idea will finally be reality! We could probably even start seeing more mothers and aunts visiting this site to ask about games for their kids/nephews and nieces or even about good titles for inexperienced players who want something more substantial than another round of virtual family fun day. Interacting with open-minded unbiased new gamers would be infinitely preferable to doing anything regarding console/PC elitists. That 5 million unit goal by years' end might seem a bit overly optimistic no matter how well it sold on Black Friday,though,unless Microsoft has some major sale or bundle offering planned. Thinking of 'The Event',is Kinect being advertised during that show? Maybe that can help explain the numbers.
  • ultimatepunchrod - November 30, 2010 3:05 a.m.

    it really sucks that MS can move so many consoles with a 4GB HDD. why does no one research this stuff and realize that that is a laughable amount of memory. MS really plays off of people's ignorance.
  • Sy87 - November 30, 2010 2:43 a.m.

    Why???? I realize it works pretty good but come on its a novelty. Only when you can "connect" to the game like in that weird show .hack will I care or at least a real thing like that very old video game show that has you in the game.
  • Cwf2008 - November 30, 2010 2:27 a.m.

    The Event?
  • BearKiller - November 30, 2010 2:24 a.m.

    Everyone will have fun with this for approximately one hour and will never touch it again. WHAT'S THE POINT? Haven't people already learned from the Eyetoy and Wii that motion controls are just a pointless gimmick? DX
  • Robx - November 30, 2010 2:12 a.m.

    @theintellectual If you really are asking that then I suggest you change your nickname. I'm just sayin'
  • ChiefLethal - November 30, 2010 2:07 a.m.

    On top of that, you know the industry is going in a bad direction when a company is willing to invest tons of money into a form of motion control that is the most advanced on the market with tons of features and potential AND NOT FUCKING DO ANYTHING WITH IT! If MS was concerned with making good games for Kinect (they aren't) or worried about anything other than money (they don't) we might actually see some good come out of this technology.
  • ChiefLethal - November 30, 2010 2:02 a.m.

    Cause motion control is nothing but a giant porcelain, cash cow continually being beaten on by publishers like a pinata so it rains money.

Showing 1-20 of 22 comments

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