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TGS: Microsoft's Tsunoda - Kinect Sales Will 'Blow Away' iPad
TGS: Microsoft's Tsunoda - Kinect Sales Will 'Blow Away' iPad
September 17, 2010 | By Christian Nutt

September 17, 2010 | By Christian Nutt
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Kinect spokesman Kudo Tsunoda tells Gamasutra that the device is on track to sell millions this holiday thanks to its ability to enable deep gameplay and attract a wide audience, in a new interview from the Tokyo Game Show floor.

"The preorders have been really strong. As far as what we're looking at for Holiday, this is going to be stuff that'll blow away any of the sales you've seen with iPad," says Tsunoda, when asked what he though about the device's chances of success.

"The Xbox 360 is already selling better than the Wii and Sony right now. Kinect's really just going to boost that to a whole new level."

Apple's device sold 1 million units in its first 28 days on sale and went on to sell 3 million in three months.

The Game Part Of The Equation

Praising the 15 "great games" prepped for launch, and the "other stuff" coming afterward -- including a number of games announced at Tokyo Game Show -- Tsunoda says that he expects Kinect to appeal to a very wide audience, but one that values great gameplay, not gimmicks.

"People are really surprised by the skill-based gameplay and the depth of gameplay that are in the experiences... I think those are the kinds of things that all types of gamers love."

"People who love playing games like the same stuff. They like games that are fun; they like playing games where the more you play, the better you get. And those are things that we're doing really well with all of the Kinect titles," says Tsunoda.

Yesterday at the show, Microsoft concentrated on new games from Japanese studios such as Nana-On Sha and Grasshopper Manufacture, many for Kinect. Says Tsunoda, "Japanese developers definitely have a great style of game and particular type of gameplay they like to do. I don't think it's so much really that those games are just for core gamers. I think gamers, all different types of people enjoy those. I think it's gameplay that people all around the world will love."

"When I grew up playing games, arcade games were really simple games to get into -- you could just jump in and play right away. I think we're just getting back to a style of gameplay that includes more people and still has the depth of gameplay everybody loves," Tsunoda says.

Does It Really Work?

But does the device work as advertised? Rumors abound that it doesn't perform well in many different (and likely) situations.

"There's all kinds of speculation that goes on out there in the world. We try not to worry too hard about any kind of rumors that are out and floating about," says Tsunoda. "The best thing we can do is just tell people what's up, and how to play.

"At some point, with the sensor, you need to be like a meter and a half away. If you're going to be closer than that it's going to have a little trouble tracking your body. That's not something we're trying to hide from anybody. That's how the system works. We've done a lot of reseach to make sure the system works in everybody's houses -- North American houses, European houses, Japanese houses.

"It really does work in all types of lighting conditions. Dark -- it doesn't matter if you have dim lights in the house, that stuff's all going to work. The main thing is with the games that are very physical, but there are games which don't need a lot of space," he says.

Killing The Controller?

And of course, there's speculation that the Kinect is going to fundamentally change the landscape of the Xbox 360, which thrives on its popularity with core gamers -- for the worse.

Says Tsunoda, "This is both for people making games and people playing games. We just want you to make or play the games any way that you want.

Tsunoda insists that creators should pick whether they want to use Kinect, a traditional controller -- or both. "If you want to make a game with a controller and using Kinect, if that's going to make the game the most fun, use it that way. That's awesome. The only thing we're looking for is to enable developers to build the best experiences possible," says Tsunoda. "Both developers and the people playing are loving the experiences."

Kinect's Future, For Developers

The device, he says, will also improve in functionality thanks to updates down the road from Microsoft.

"Kinect, we think about it a lot the same way we think about Xbox Live. Xbox Live, when it first came out, was much different than it is today. And over time, new features get added, new experiences get added, and it just evolves as a platform. The same will be true with Kinect.

"We've got obviously the full-body tracking, our voice technology, the human recognition system -- all these things, developers can use today. But just like any part of the platform, we're going to constantly evolve and work on it over time to give developers new features they want, to give consumers the new experiences they want. That's just going to be something that, as we roll into the future, is just constantly growing," Tsunoda says.


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Comments


Randy D
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God I really hate these guys sometimes.

Kinect is the coolest, Xbox sells so many units we're the best!

No way guys, we have BUTTONS! And the PS3 does everything, thanks to our weekly updates!

Yeah yeah yeah well we have Halo, it sells so much!

BUTTONS!

HALO!

HOOP ON A STICK.

Randy D
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Oh no wait, I forgot apple



Hey guys, we're the best selling games console.

HOOP.

It's magical and revol-

ON A STICK.



And then Nintendo sits, happily counting the millions they've made with the Wii.

Tadhg Kelly
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"As far as what we're looking at for Holiday, this is going to be stuff that'll blow away any of the sales you've seen with iPad,"



This is the sort of quote that tends to haunt careers mate.



I think most people have only modest expectations at best for sales of Kinect and PS3 Home. While the Wii demonstrated a huge appetite at the time of its launch for gestural games, the fall-off from that has been just as demonstrable. EyeToy taught us the same lesson several years ago.



As with all kinds of controller, the real proof of their appeal and longevity is their precision, applicability to a wide range of scenarios and so on. Novelty by itself does not legions-of-sales make. And the Xbox audience is really quite a strange fit for something so lite and casual.



But hey, I said all this a few months ago:

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/TadhgKelly/20100712/5551/DisKinect
ion_How_Microsoft_Has_Lost_Focus.php

Jonathan Gilmore
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True, but most of the analyst projections also have the Kinect selling at 3 million-not enough to blow away the iPad, but enough certainly to sell very similarly.

Jonathan Jennings
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once I see more demo booths for the kinect I will happily agree to any observed estimates microsoft makes until then they are flapping their gums. it's like they forget that motion technology is seen by many as a gimmick even after the wii in order to appeal the masses they have to let the masses experience the kinect. I tried it myself and the day before I tried it I laughed at the item, when I finally tried it I enjoyed myself but the key is I had to experience it to see the merits of it. after a while " live " tech demo's just don't cut it.

Nicholas DiMucci
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This is like saying "Coke is going to outsell Wonder Bread!"

Ken Masters
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Exactly. I have no idea why he's comparing Kinect to the iPad. It just doesn't make sense to me.

Tadhg Kelly
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Because tablets are bout to be a big thing for games, and they use more natural controls than previous systems. They are clearly the Next Big Thing (tm).



I can see why he's making the connection between the two, but the resulting quote is just... well, it's pretty dumb if I'm honest.

Jonathan Gilmore
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It doesn't make sense, I think he is just comparing it to another product launch that moved a lot of units quickly. I don't think it is meant to be an appples to apples comparison.

Merc Hoffner
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I actually think it may be a strange tech rebuttal to Apple proclaiming their machine's 1 million unit sales, followed by 3 million, and declaring it as some kind of sales miracle. It was came without a setting no and picked at fairly arbitrary sales point. 3 million is good? Compared to what? A phone? Maybe, but then it ain't a phone. A games machine? Well, it actually ain't that big a deal compared to the DS. It's even more meaningless in the frame of the launch period. I think Microsoft are merely trying to spread even the arbitrariness of sales claims for 'new' markets.

Jonathan Gilmore
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It's certainly arbitrary all around.

Tadhg Kelly
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Of course 3m units is good.



The iPad costs $500+. Selling 3m of anything in that short a space of time is huge, and you know it.

Lance Shirley
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It better work and it better work well or else the Facebook and Twitter communities will eat it alive. I guess that goes for anything else though.

Mark Morrison
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"Kinect spokesman Kudo Tsunoda tells Gamasutra that Move will succeed thanks to its ability to enable deep gameplay and attract a wide audience, in a new interview from the Tokyo Game Show floor."



@Christian, you might want to switch out "Move" in there ;)

Grace Aust
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ummm what does the iPad have to do with Kinect...? I see them as two totally different pieces of tech...

Lo Pan
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Kudo owes us an CYA apology when his boost fails.

Kevin Jones
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Fine..as long as you also give us an apology when your own prediction that Kinect won't 3 million in just 3 months fails.

Of course Kinect will sell more than 3 million in the holiday months of November and December alone worldwide....easy.

UK Kinect pre-orders have been very healthy as I posted on here some time ago, and US pre-orders are doing at least as good if not better.

MCVUK:

Kinect pre-orders boom

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/40209/Kinect-pre-orders-boom

zed zeek
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bono called and he wants his glasses back

Lo Pan
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SCORE!

Mark Morrison
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zed, didn't you mean zsa zsa? ;)


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