Doubt the ability of Microsoft's new hands-free Kinect controller to change the way people game? Maybe this will change your mind.
Microsoft Corp. today announced it has sold 1 million Kinect for Xbox 360 units worldwide in 10 days and is on pace to hit 5 million by the end of the year. The announcement comes a week before the biggest selling day of the year, Black Friday, and in the wake of increasing momentum for Xbox 360, which led U.S. video game console sales for the past four months.
Over the weekend I had a chance to spend some time with a Kinect-equipped Xbox 360 and had the chance to play some games and I came away with mixed feelings. To me the technology felt kludgy and very first-generation. The lag between making a move and the on-screen avatar making that move got on my nerves, and interacting with the UI was a chore at times. That said, gameplay, once you got over the lag, was quite compelling.
I'm certain that Kinect will get better, more responsive and more user friendly. Problem is, at this stage it's hard to tell whether these improvements will come thanks to software updates, or future hardware updates.
I can certainly see Kinect games appealing to people who enjoyed the Wii. The thing about games consoles and accessories is that it's time that sorts the winners from the losers, and Kinect's long-term success will rely on the quality and quantity of games that make use of it.