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Microsoft planning to bring Kinect to the PC at the “right time”

Steve Ballmer recently told the BBC that Microsoft would bring Kinect support to the PC at “the right time”.

I actually think Kinect has a lot more potential on the PC than it does on a video game console, but it seems like it might be a problem with the set up. People are having issues making room now in front of the TV, and that seems like it might get worse when you try to put Kinect between you and the monitor that sits 2 feet away.

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EEDAR: PlayStation Move doing “phenomenally”

“The success of the Kinect was a surprise to us all, and to Microsoft as well. Among all the analysts, I was the most bullish, forecasting five to six million in sell through by the end of the year. While Microsoft announced eight million in ‘ship-in’, it would imply at least 6.5 million units, surpassing even the most bullish of estimates.”

“The PlayStation Move is doing phenomenally and certainly Sony should not be disappointed by their holiday results. Yes, in comparison, the Kinect did outsell the Move, but that shouldn’t discount the tremendous success the Move has had over the holidays. Selling in over four million of anything in this sector is an incredible accomplishment, even if a competitor sells more.” – EEDAR research and communications VP Jesse Divnich

Kinect and Move certainly sold a whole lot more units than I would have ever thought. It remains to be seen if they will keep up the pace, but this is a much better start than I ever thought possible (especially with Kinect).

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Microsoft: Expect Kinect shortages in early 2011

“There was so much demand that we had to pull some production from January and February, so I think we’re going to be hard-pressed to be able to fulfill demand. A lot of retailers will be out of stock, or will have challenges making sure that their shelves are filled. I don’t think we’ll be able to fulfill the demand in January and February. It’s a nice problem to have.” – Jose Pinero, Microsoft Senior Director of PR for Entertainment Services

I very much doubt that will be massive Kinect shortages. Just two days ago I saw about 50 of the stand-alone units sitting at Best Buy, with no crowd of people lined up to get them. I would suspect that this is not unique to my area.

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Microsoft: We have no intention of abandoning core gamers

“Obviously we’re very excited by the success of Kinect. But we have no intention of abandoning the Xbox 360 audience that bought in originally. We’re very aware of the key role the enthusiastic core audience played in making the Xbox 360 what it is, and we’ll continue to support and develop (titles) like Halo and Gears of War.” – David Dennis, Microsoft Group Manager for Public Relations, Interactive Entertainment Business

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Namco Bandai to distribute Yoostar 2 in Europe for Kinect and PS Eye

LYON, FRANCE – 6 January 2011 – NAMCO BANDAI Partners S.A.S. today announced that it has signed an agreement with Yoostar Entertainment to distribute Yoostar®2 for KinectTM for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®Move across Europe.

Available in Q1 2011, Yoostar2 is a revolutionary game which uses advanced camera technology of the Kinect for Xbox 360 sensor and the PlayStation®Eye to place players within famous movies and TV scenes. For the very first time, anyone can become part of their favourite movies or TV show, either acting alongside or replacing Hollywood’s biggest stars.

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8m Kinect units were shipped, Microsoft claims “virtually all” of them were sold

Microsoft Corp. has shipped more than 8 million Kinect sensors for its Xbox device… Microsoft has sold virtually all of the 8 million Kinects that were shipped, the company said yesterday.

I suspected that their 8m number was shipped and not sold to customers. The only question that remains is how close to that 8m they got. Hopefully, we will get a better idea on that when NPD reports this month.

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Netflix and Hulu Plus with Kinect support coming this spring to the 360

Announced at CES yesterday, Microsoft has confirmed that Hulu Plus is coming to the Xbox 360 this spring. Additionally, both it and Netflix will be compatible with Kinect.

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GameStop reports 2010 Holiday sales, hardware up 7.4% thanks to Kinect

GRAPEVINE, Texas, Jan 06, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) –

GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), the world’s largest multi-channel video game retailer, today reported record sales results for the nine-week holiday period ended January 1, 2011.

Total sales for the period were $3.02 billion, a 5.4% increase as compared to the 2009 holiday sales period, with comparable store sales increasing 3.4%. GameStop also produced 32% growth in gift card sales in December.

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Microsoft announces 8m Kinect units sold

From Microsoft’s CES presentation

  • 8m Kinects sold in the first 60 days.
  • 30m Xbox Live members
  • 50m Xbox 360s sold worldwide
  • 360 has outsold all other consoles for the last 6 months in the US

I’m guessing that this is units shipped, not sold to customers. Still an impressive feat, and certainly more than I would have ever guessed.

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EA: Gesture-Based Gaming Will Not Replace Controllers

“I think we’re cautiously optimistic on both [Kinect and Move], for different reasons. I tend to think that the conversation around the Kinect and Move, at least for me… is a very different conversation than I’m having, inside my own mind and with my colleagues. I’ve had a number of people ask me ‘Will gesture-based gaming replace controllers?’ I don’t think so. I think that there will be genres where the gesture-based gaming, however delivered (Kinect, Move, or any other device that comes down the road), will actually be the superior way to play. Dance games, music games, exercise games. It’s really hard to imagine an exercise game with your thumbs. It’s really hard to imagine that I’m going to play a future edition of Medal of Honor, or Call of Duty, or Battlefield, hiding behind my couch, making a gun out of my finger. I’ve tried driving with gesture-based controls; I don’t really like it…”

“The other thing is I’ll go home with a game like Medal of Honor or Dead Space or Need for Speed and sit down in front of a console at my house and play by myself for three of four hours and I don’t know that I’d ever do that with a gesture-based system; maybe exercise, like EA Sports Active, but never three or four hours. I think they’re likely to cater to different markets for different purposes. I think the more interesting thing for Kinect and Move is going to be what’s going to happen late next year in terms of how we see them, and then what new genres sprout up to support those control systems. I mean, if it weren’t for plastic guitars, the music sector never would have happened. In the same sort of way, what’s going to trigger the hot game? What’s going to use Kinect in just that way?” – EA CEO John Riccitiello

I think Riccitiello is right on with this. There are a few genres that work great with motion controls, a few that could go either way, and the rest of them are far better off with a standard controller.

The one thing that I would add is that pointer control should be considered separate from motion control. I firmly believe that having some sort of pointer (either with the Wii’s IR sensor, or the way Move does it) will become standard next generation. Once you get used to it, having that for menus and shooters is far superior and makes dual analog feel outdated.

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