Microsoft Expects Great Kinect Sales Even if Reviews are Poor

Microsoft Kinect

After all the months of speculation, ridicule and “is that actually what I’m going to look like playing that thing”, the launch week of Microsoft’s Kinect has finally arrived. The hands-free motion control system will be out tomorrow in North America, prompting all of its purchasers to get their Wavy McJiggleArms swinging. I jest, but I am actually interested to see what this thing does, especially considering that it is Microsoft’s big horse, on which it is pinning many of its gaming dreams.

So how do they feel about it? If you ask Aaron Greenberg, head of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, he thinks it will do just swimmingly. He feels so strongly about this, he believes it will sell units even in the face of negative game reviews for Kinect’s launch titles.

Why is that? Because Kinect is different.

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.

Call me crazy, and this is just raw editorial – but it seems to me as if Microsoft is almost expecting bad reviews of these launch titles. So the reviews might be negative, but they’re not really concerned about that as long as they move units? I mean, I know that’s pretty much standard operating procedure for 99 percent of businesses out there, but it’s still interesting to see someone say it. Granted, the man might have a point, because that’s almost exactly what I feel the Wii did early on.

And in case you’re keeping score at home, this is the same man that said Kinect will outsell the Wii at launch. Do you guys think Microsoft will trump the big N in this situation? What do you expect from Kinect at launch?

Source – Eurogamer

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

4 thoughts on “Microsoft Expects Great Kinect Sales Even if Reviews are Poor”

  1. Seems to me like everyone Ive talked to doesnt plan on getting it right away. I kind of want it to do well but I might wait till next year to pick it up. I expect some average reviews, one stand out game thats kinda fun(probably Kinect Sports), and then a long time before its fully integrated with the big games… I dont see a game like Gears 4 needing Kinect to play because the ratio of Kinect owners to Plain old xbox owners wont be enough to validate it… Im getting ready for optional kinect features in the games I want to play, and a bunch of games I dont.

    I do really want to see what the bottom of my avatars foot looks like though.

  2. Untill the price tag goes down a bit, I doubt I’ll be getting this. It doesn’t really apply to much of anything minus menu navigation and things of that sort.
    I remember in one of the GS Podcasts that you guys mentioned it would be better if they just integrate it into the games. For example, take EndWar and what they did with the voice recognition. You could still use your controler, sometimes it was even better to do that, but for the quicktime events and sudden happenings, it was a saving throw to be able to just yell out a command.

  3. Game reviewers have had to review iPhone and Wii games for a few years now, they’re very accustomed to reviewing things that aren’t “hardcore”. If you get bad reviews, it’s exactly because they didn’t have fun, not because they’re incapable of it.

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