Microsoft president of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick said his company now expects the Xbox 360 Kinect sensor to sell 5 million units during the holiday, up from previous forecasts of 3 million
, according to Bloomberg
Mattrick said Kinect will be the biggest Xbox launch ever in terms of unit sales. A Microsoft representative confirmed the forecast hike in an email to Gamasutra.
Microsoft's body-scanning 3D camera and microphone peripheral is due to launch tomorrow, and is reportedly in short supply at retailers worldwide. The Xbox house is shipping Kinect as a standalone unit for $150, including the game Kinect Adventures
, as well as a 4GB Xbox 360-Kinect bundle for $299 and a 250GB bundle for $399, which both also include the game.
Microsoft hopes that Kinect, with its controller-free gameplay and software lineup, will attract a more mainstream audience -- the same audience that rushed to retailers for Nintendo Wii, which is now seeing sales decline.
In August, Lazard analyst Colin Sebastian raised his Kinect holiday sales forecast to 4 million units worldwide, up from 3 million including bundles. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said in July he expects the standalone Kinect to sell 2-4 million units by March 2010.
Not only does Microsoft expect Kinect to be the biggest Xbox launch in terms of sales, but earlier this year, Robert Matthews, general manager of global marketing communications for Xbox, said, "Kinect is the largest, most integrated
marketing initiative in Xbox history, bigger than [the system's] launch."
The competing Wii-like PlayStation Move controller, released in September, has shipped about 1.5 million units in Europe and 1 million units in the Americas, according to Sony. The company expects to sell 5 million units worldwide by the end of March.