Thursday, November 04, 2010

Console Post Of The Week: Micro Edition

I'm still deeply skeptical about the utility of Kinect when it comes to playing conventional games, but I will say this: Microsoft has done a decent job of creating a palpable buzz around the device.

Still, though, it seems like they have a problem.

If you make a great product, the #1 thing you want to do is get it into reviewer's hands early. Let them experience the greatness for themselves.

Kinect, though, doesn't have any hardware reviews or game reviews as of Wednesday, one day before launch. And Aaron Greenberg had this to say:
For us, these are different types of titles and experiences than maybe some of the games traditionally that are targeted to the core market. So the correlation between a review score for Halo: Reach and sales is very high, but Kinect Sports is more about just having fun.

I don't know how reviewers will grade those games because they're so unique and so different to what the reviewers have played with controllers. We'd love to see great reviews but I don't think you'll see the same type of correlation between reviews and actual sales of the game, would be my guess.

Uh-oh. In other words, reviews will be shit, but game sales will be through the roof.

In the same interview, Greenberg also had this to say:
We haven't given any projections beyond this holiday, but this will be the largest launch we've ever had as a business. We'll definitely sell more sensors than the Wii sold when it launched or the Xbox 360 sold when it launched.

We feel safe we'll do three million this holiday, which puts us in pretty high territory for even a consumer electronics product.
And by "do" he means "ship", which is an entirely different thing from actually selling three million Kinect units in the holiday season.

I get the feeling from listening to these executives that Kinect is nothing short of a cult inside Microsoft. That happens quite often inside a company, a product being pushed so hard internally that it converts the doubters.

The problem, though, is that the conversion process in a company can take months or years of a constant flow of information to a captive audience. Consumers aren't captives, and Kinect needs to make a highly positive impression, and quickly.

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