Microsoft's Hands-Free Video Game Controller Kinect Poised to Outsell Sony's New Move

Americans expected to buy 2.5 million-3 million Kinect sensors in the fourth quarter, compared to 2 million-2.25 million for Move.

In the battle of the videogame controllers, Microsoft's new hands-free Kinect system is poised outsell Sony's new Move motion controllers during this holiday season.

According to research by International Data Corp., Americans will buy 2.5 million-3 million Kinect sensors for their Microsoft Xbox 360 game consoles in the fourth quarter.

The number of Sony PlayStation 3 Move motion controllers sold should range 2 million-2.25 million by the end of this year, the report said.

The two technologies use gestural moves as an interface (think of Tom Cruise operating his computer in Minority Report) and were previewed with much fanfare during the E3 gaming confab this year.

Both motion-based controllers are designed to making gaming more active and have sometimes been described as a response to the successful Nintendo Wii platform, which offered an early look at the possibilities of gestural interfaces.

Kinect launches in North America on Thursday and is bundled with a copy of Kinect Adventures! for $149.99. The Move motion controller was put on the market late last month; the basic bundle includes a copy of Sports Champions and a PlayStation Eye camera for $99.99.

"While it doesn't appear Kinect or Move will be this year's Tickle Me Elmo, millions of additional U.S. households will be enjoying motion-based gaming this holiday season," said Lewis Ward, research manager of IDC's video game industry advisory service. "Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus controller has an installed base of over 10 million units right now, but the new interfaces and associated games from Sony and Microsoft are going to give many shoppers pause moving forward."

Gestural interfaces will be a big story at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Toshiba previously demonstrated a prototype TV that is controlled by motion-based interface, and more such advancements for mobile devices and TV sets are expected to be unveiled at the Las Vegas confab.

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