Kinect, Move Look Like Hits
In the past, I've been a skeptic of Kinect for Xbox 360 and the Playstation Move, Microsoft's and Sony's respective motion controllers. The prospect of selling the public another Wii, I thought, was hopeless without killer software. So far, it looks like I'm wrong.
Microsoft has raised its sales expectations for Kinect from 3 million to 5 million, Bloomberg reports. That's based on pre-sales, retail orders and consumer interest for the motion-sensing camera, which launches November 4. To put this in perspective, Microsoft has sold 44.6 million Xbox 360s since the console launched in 2005.
The Playstation Move, a Wii-like wand tracked by a set-top camera, is also doing well so far. The controller officially launched on September 19, and Sony sold 2.5 million of them between the United States and Europe in one month. Lifetime Playstation 3 sales are at 41.6 million.
Despite my initial skepticism, I never wanted the to fare poorly. I just want to see better, more interesting games. Kinect's launch portfolio subsists largely on dance, exercise and party games. The Move took a similar approach, while also padding its line-up with motion control updates for existing games like Heavy Rain.
While Nintendo was able to carry the Wii on franchises like Mario Kart and New Super Mario Bros. along with the runaway success of Wii Fit, Microsoft and Sony will have to lean more heavily on third-party support. At the very least, a healthy user base will encourage more publishers to invest in more games -- Activision, the largest video game publisher, is most notable for its wait-and-see approach - but ideally, it'll enable them to take risks and push the really cool tech that Microsoft and Sony have created.
I wasn't wrong about everything, at least. Although limited pre-orders made Kinect look like a sold out product, Microsoft told Bloomberg that Best Buy, Amazon and GameStop should have the device in stock on launch day, as expected.