About Those 10 Million Kinect Sensors: Microsoft's Troubling Attach Rate

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Kinect may be Guinness's new world champion when it comes to fastest-selling piece of geek tech, but what about the Xbox 360 motion-sensor's software attach rate?

Microsoft says it sold "more than 10 million standalone Kinect games...worldwide to date." So roughly 10 million games against 10 million units sold, or a 1:1 software-hardware attach rate. One game sold for every Kinect sensor, in other words.

Which games? Place your bets. Microsoft hasn't said, and while I'd wager either Kinect Sports or Dance Central, the question's not really relevant. What is relevant is that gamers who bought a Kinect sensor between November 4 and now, picked up, on average, only a single game.

What does that suggest about the post-purchase consumer response to Kinect?

Any number of things, really. For one, that gamers are buying the sensor and trying it out, but are not really persuaded to pick it back up and keep playing (sort of like the anecdotal stories you hear about the Wii). Or that the games that are out so far just don't appeal to Kinect's demographic (or even that the mediocre reception in the critical reviews of said games are impacting negatively).

Or it could just mean the hardware has had a "shock and awe" effect in that it currently outpaces game sales--the system did just break a Guinness World Record, after all. And while the Xbox 360 and Wii had launch attach rates of 4:1 and 3:1 respectively, the PS3 launch attach rate was just 1.5 (contrasted with its current 4.6, life-to-date rate).

Of the Xbox 360's unusually high launch attach rate back in 2005, analysts worried it meant Microsoft wasn't moving enough hardware. In other words, having a high attach rate can be a sign of adoption problems, too.

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