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Despite the sluggish economy, Microsoft has sold over 10 million units of its new motion sensor gaming device, Kinect for Xbox 360, to date since it launched on Nov. 4, 2010. The $150 piece of hardware, which comes with facial and voice recognition technology that allows gamers to interact with on-screen characters without a physical controller, reached sales of 8 million units sold in its first 60 days at retail worldwide.
With average sales of 133,333 units per day, Kinect has become the fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history, according to Guinness World Records. These sales figures outstrip both the iPhone and the iPad for the equivalent periods after launch.
“The sales figures here speak for themselves,” said Gaz Deaves, gaming editor for Guinness World Records. “According to independent research, no other consumer electronics device sold faster within a 60-day time span, which is an incredible achievement considering the strength of the sector.”
The Kinect hardware has also spurred sales of Kinect games. Microsoft has sold over 10 million games that were designed to take advantage of the new motion controls. Top games include MTV Games’ Dance Central, Ubisoft’s Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, Electronic Arts’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: The Game and Microsoft’s Kinectimals and Kinect Joyride.
Namco Bandai has just released Body and Brain Connection for Kinect, which was designed by neuroscientist Dr. Ryuta Kawahima and combines physical exercise with math, logic and memory-based mini-games.
Kinect is also being used to enhance Hollywood properties. This April, Ubisoft is shipping the Kinect version of Michael Jackson The Experience, which allows players to sing and dance to over 30 hits from the King of Pop. THQ will unleash Kung Fu Panda 2 for Kinect in May, which allows players to perform real karate moves in their living room to control Po and the Furious Five. This fall, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developer Double Fine Productions will launch the Kinect exclusive Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster featuring Cookie Monster, Elmo and other classic characters.
Microsoft has a global installed base of 50 million Xbox 360 gamers. Kinect requires the Xbox 360 console to play any of the new games. Microsoft is selling Kinect bundled with hardware in packages starting at $300.
This spring, Microsoft will add Kinect support for Netflix via Xbox Live, which has 30 million active members in 35 countries. Gamers will be able to use hand gestures and their voice to control Netflix on Xbox Live. Kinect already allows for controller-free entertainment with thousands of live and on demand sports, tens of thousands of movies and TV shows in 1080p streaming, and millions of songs.
Also this spring, Hulu Plus, which offers full current and back seasons of hit TV shows from ABC, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC, MTV, and more, in HD, will join other partners on Xbox Live including ESPN, Netflix, Zune, Last.fm, Sky, Canal+ and FOXTEL.
Later this year, Microsoft will introduce Avatar Kinect, a new social entertainment experience that will bring gamers’ Xbox Live avatars to life. Using Kinect’s facial recognition technology, when a player smiles, frowns, nods and speaks, the on-screen avatar will replicate those mannerisms and actions. This feature will allow up to eight gamers to congregate virtually and create animated videos that can be shared via Facebook.
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