Yep, Kinect is the New Wii, Pitfalls and All

By  |  Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 8:24 am

If there was any doubt that Kinect is a smash-hit, Microsoft erased it with official sales figures: In 25 days, the company sold 2.5 million units. As ReadWriteWeb notes, Kinect is being adopted faster than the iPad.

In essence, Kinect has become the new Wii, the hot gaming toy on top of many holiday wishlists. If Microsoft can keep it up, Kinect could keep the Xbox 360 alive for at least another couple of years.

But following the arc of the Wii is as dangerous as it is lucrative. Indeed, the news of Kinect’s soaring sales pairs nicely with Ben Fritz’s look at the declining Wii in the Los Angeles Times. He notes that stereotypical non-gamers — the same folks Microsoft is targeting — eventually lost interest in the Wii and didn’t buy enough software, and now monthly hardware sales are behind the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Major publishers eventually soured on the console as well. Now that Microsoft has proven that people want Kinect, its challenge is to keep those customers around.

Microsoft has a few chances to avoid the Wii’s eventual fall. Unlike Nintendo, Microsoft has focused more on making the Xbox 360 a general entertainment device, with video from the Zune Marketplace, Netflix and ESPN3, and music from Zune and Last.fm. (The Wii only offers Netflix.) These features could keep families coming back to the console even when there aren’t any games to play.

The Xbox 360 is also more social than the Wii. Connecting with other consoles isn’t a chore like it is on Nintendo’s console, and Kinect’s video chat feature could encourage non-gamers to give Xbox Live a try.

Finally, the Xbox 360 is a better platform for downloadable games than the Wii, with free trials on all games and regular sales promotions. October was a record month for Xbox Live Arcade, thanks in part to great games like Super Meat Boy and Plants vs. Zombies. I’m dying to see Microsoft open Kinect development to indie game makers, given the crazy stuff that people have done with hacked Kinect drivers.

I still think Kinect needs killer, big-budget games to thrive. The Wii was certainly buoyed over the years by hits like Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit. But at least Microsoft doesn’t need to solely rely on blockbuster games to keep people interested.

 
9 Comments


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9 Comments For This Post

  1. HeavY Says:

    This sond as many units as Move on the same amount of days, but since it's from Micro$oft, they are the new Wii? And even the Wii is more accurate than Kinect

  2. heavy Says:

    *Sold

  3. Brandon S. Levasseur Says:

    and Move SOLD 4.1 million

  4. Lovelobster Says:

    You are wrong, Sony sold 4.1 million units to retail stores. Not the same. Sorry for Sony.

  5. ScrewSony Says:

    Kinect SOLD 2.5m Sony's Wiimote SHIPPED 4.1m in a longer time lol Sony soon to be in last place again hahaha.

  6. pond Says:

    Kinect has now some open-source drivers. It can be used with PCs, both windows and linux and Macs.

    It doesn’t depend on games alone, or gamers. I heard a ‘Science Friday’ podcast about the Kinect, and it sounds really nice for physical therapy, yoga lessons, Tai Ch’i, golf, bowling, tennins, teaching proper form. There’s a dance game that teaches you how to dance — how to really dance, not faux-pseudo-play guitar.

    It’s versatile beyond the console, and I think that with the Kinect and Apple’s touchOS, we are entering into a new post-keys phase of computing.

    It will be some years before we can see what the Kinect and its future siblings have to offer us.

  7. Jasmin Says:

    No one cares about the Kinect. Lmao. Sounds like someone is a wittle mad that the Wii is about to be a thing of the past?

  8. Concerned Person Says:

    Microsoft is going to have to come out with something super awesome for my household to buy an XBOX 360. I am in the non-gaming group. I have a Wii, PS2, Game Cube, Super Nintendo, and I can't take many more systems that you have to hook and unhook all the time. If they invented something wireless that would run all my games and apps like Netflix, I would spend close to $1,500.00 on it. I am sick of all these multiple systems! It gets aggravating because my family wants all the really old ones and the latest they can get!

  9. find a cosigner Says:

    Too bad I haven't purchased my own Kinect console yet. This can be an entirely new gaming experience. I can't wait to have my own.