updated 06:05 pm EST, Mon November 29, 2010
Microsoft says 2.5 million Kinect add-ons sold
Microsoft hit back at Nintendo's claims of 600,000 Wiis sold today by claiming that it had sold 2.5 million Kinect add-ons since the November 4 debut. The tally was helped by the expected Black Friday sales spike and was well past the one million sold in the first 10 days. Interactive Entertainment head Don Mattrick fully expected five million Kinect add-ons to have sold by the end of the year.
He didn't elaborate on how many of those units were sold in the US or how many Kinect units were attached with Xbox 360 bundles. Nintendo's Wii count was affected primarily by US sales, and all its sales by default involved motion controllers. Microsoft's sales don't necessarily reflect actual gains in share, as many of the sales are likely headed to existing Xbox owners rather than new buyers.
The Kinect was designed as a direct response to the Wii and has been targeted much more at the casual and party gaming that have defined the Wii's existence. Microsoft has been counting on the sophistication of a camera-based system, along with the higher performance of the Xbox 360, to draw away Nintendo's once-safe user base. Wii shipments have been on a rare decline this year both as the player base gets saturated and as a lack of major first-party games has kept impulse buyers away.