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  • Kinect, Great Start. Will it Continue?

    Posted on November 17th, 2010 Shawn 3 comments

    Microsoft’s motion control sensor which connects to Xbox 360’s has sold over 1 million units in its first 10 days. I’ll admit, that’s a great start. I’m still skeptical of the overall success though. Here are some of my thoughts.

    • Distance Requirements – Kinect requires a 6-10 foot distance for you to stand from the sensor, in order for it to pick up your entire body and movement. For two players, it requires more space. I can’t imagine the average living room will have this amount of available space, without relocating things like coffee tables and couches. Do you have a 20″ x 20″ 20′ x 20′ (or larger) room where you game?
    • After the Launch excitement Fades – Once the reviewers stories and fanboys excitement calms down, what will the average consumer think about this peripheral? Sure, it looks fun, but so does the Wii. Sure, you can control beautiful games with your body, but so does the Wii (sort of). Yes, the Wii sold many millions of units, but will another similar device grab that audience again.
    • Return Rate – When people try Kinect, what will people do when/if they realize it doesn’t work in their small house? Will they shelve it (like many Wii users did), or will they return it and spend their $150 on something else?
    • Price – At $150 – $200, this add-on peripheral is not cheap. Makes sense, there’s some very impressive technology inside. Plus, it does include the game Kinect Adventures (a typical game of mini games). Kinect is not an impulse buy for the average consumer, due to it’s price and requirement of an Xbox 360. Will it sell to the masses at this price?

    I do see some great potential uses of Kinect, outside of the obvious (Wii like) mini games and exercise games.

    • Achievements – This is for the Xbox hard core gamer. So, not something the casual player will really care about. But, it could draw me (an Xbox and Wii owner) away from the Wii games and over to similar Kinect games.
    • Audio Controls – The ability to control movies, music, and other system navigation via voice commands is quite appealing. I’ve learned that Netflix is not yet supported, though expect that to be remedied with a software update.
    • Video / Audio Chat – Like having the old Xbox Live Camera, Kinect can allow video over Xbox Live and (I believe) via PC too. Plus, it can be used as an ambient microphone for party voice chats. Again, this is appealing for a rhythm game player, who is restricted by wires coming out of drums/guitars.

    By the way, all versions of Kinect are currently sold out at Amazon!


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