Kinect seems to be off to a rousing start if Microsoft's math adds up. The company claims its motion sensor for Xbox 360 sold, as opposed to shipped, 1 million units worldwide in the first 10 days since launch. The company also claims that puts it "on pace to hit 5 million [worldwide] by the end of the year."
"We are appreciative of the response we have seen from consumers that has culminated in sales of more than 1 million units in the first 10 days on the market for Kinect for Xbox 360," said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, in a statement. "This is a great start to the holiday season, and we will continue to work with our retailer partners to keep pace with high demand and deliver against our plan to sell more than 5 million Kinect sensors worldwide by the end of this year."
Maybe, maybe not. The company sold 1 million units in 10 days, but we're looking at a pretty tight 47 days until New Year's, counting today and holidays. Kinect will have to maintain its launch momentum to clear its lofty "5 million" goal. Black Friday's strictly a US thing, not a worldwide phenomenon.
To be fair, Microsoft originally projected 3 million units by year's end, then upped its estimate to 5 million based on the strength of pre-orders. If Kinect falls short of 5 million but tops the 3 million figure, Microsoft can still trumpet the peripheral as a success.
The system launched in Europe on November 10, opens in Asia on Thursday, and Japan on Saturday. Microsoft says the system will by the holiday sales period be available at upwards of 60,000 retailers worldwide in 38 countries, accompanied by "up to 17 Kinect games." Will pressers like these keep the Microsoft hype train rolling? We'll see in January.
In the meantime, steer clear of comparisons between Microsoft and Sony "motion control" numbers. Sony claimed it shipped 3 million PlayStation Moves worldwide during the motion controller's first month on sale. They also failed to clarify what that meant. Bundle units? Standalone PlayStation Eyes? Individual controllers? The number of units actually sold-through?
Don't hold your breath waiting for apples to apples comparisons. Crack marketing teams get paid to ensure that kind of intel's intelligible as sludge.