Who is buying all these Xboxes?

Summary:Microsoft sold close to 1 million Xbox 360s and 750,000 Kinect sensors during Black Friday week. Who is buying up all these consoles?

The numbers are pretty astounding to a non-gamer and non-TV watcher like me. Microsoft officials said this week that the company sold 960,000 Xbox 360 consoles in the U.S. alone over the week of "Black Friday," plus 750,000 Kinect sensors, to boot.

I am not doubting Microsoft's tallies, but I really wonder who is buying all these Xboxes? I know there are gaming fanatics out there, but don't they already have one or more consoles? And while Microsoft is marketing the heck out of the Kinect, have the casual gaming and TV/movie watching crowd come to see these as the new must-have peripherals?

Obviously, deals and sales played into the latest numbers. But it's kind of amazing to me that there were hundreds of thousands of buyers who wanted and needed a new Xbox -- especially with rumors swirling of a new Xbox console (or at least a new Xbox 360 model) due out in 2012.

Microsoft also managed to sell all these Xboxes a couple of weeks ahead of a key Xbox 360 dashboard update that is due to go to the public next week on December 6. This update, which is being tested privately now, adds new social features, enhanced family settings, Facebook sharing, Bing voice search (in the U.S., U.K. and Canada only, to start) and cloud storage for Game Saves and Live Profiles.

Starting on the 6th and rolling out over the next few months, Microsoft and partners also will be adding Xbox Live TV services -- which it is now describing as "customized applications for television, movies, internet videos, sports and music." Verizon announced this week its plans for  its FiOS TV application bundle, which includes 26 channels viewable by those who are both Xbox Live gold customers and Verizon FiOS TV users. At $89.99 for a FiOS TV, FiOS Internet and Verizon voice service package, I'm almost sold -- except that I don't watch TV or care about gaming...

What's your take? Who is buying all of these Xboxes and Kinects and what are they doing with them? Any guesses, anecdotes or tin-foil-hat speculation?

Update: On Twitter, folks have been vocally chiming in on this question. More than a few of my Twitter buddies say they are buying their second and third Xbox consoles (one for almost every room in the house). Others speculate the buyers are disenfranchised PS3 or Wii customers. And some of those who confess to being among the purchasers are just folks who cannot resist a good holiday deal...

Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.