Microsoft raises Kinect sales expectations, matches our prediction

Microsoft's Kinect is arguably the biggest innovation in gaming to date. And, combined with $500 million in marketing, it will sell. In fact, Microsoft is so bullish on their hands-free controller that they've increased their sales expectations big time. Read on for the details.

Kinect to sell 5 million units by Christmas; did they listen to us?

By now everyone in the gaming world knows what the Kinect is--and a good many non-gamers as well. Which is good, because Microsoft is wants to bring a lot you into the fold with its new hardware paradigm. Instead of feeling awkward because you can't push buttons better than the neighbor kid, you can feel awkward because you simply can't dance. Or maybe you can shine in ways traditional gamers like myself have no interest in doing (at least not so far).

All day today, Microsoft has set up shop in Times Square, with mock up "living rooms" for anyone to try the Kinect for themselves. Many celebrities of the gaming (and non-gaming) world have been on hand, and as night falls in New York City, the event is kicking up to high gear. As MTV puts it: "There are launch events and then there are launch events. The "Halo: Reach" launch at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square was pretty big. The Wii launch a few years back was even bigger. But I daresay I've never seen anything quite like what is going on in Times Square right now. Microsoft has officially taken over the center of New York City to promote the launch of their new motion-sensing peripheral, Kinect."

The launch party for Kinect marks the culmination of the long-discussed Project Natal. Since its final reveal at E3 this year, numerous questions have swirled around the Internet about the device's performance, but the general public appears confident in the new technology. So confident that shortages have been reported in the UK and demand is white hot in the US. For example, Amazon.com is out of stock of the Kinect bundle, and third-party sellers are asking at least $230 for it. It's supposed to retail for $149, by the way.

All of the buzz surrounding the device has led Microsoft to raises its sales expectations for the Kinect from three million units by Christmas to five million. The change in sales expectations came at the company's earnings call earlier today, and interestingly enough this matches our prediction from two weeks ago. Been reading Huliq lately, Mr. Ballmer?

I jest (only a bit), and we'll be here to analyze the real sales data as it comes out. November 4th could be an absolutely huge day for Microsoft.

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