Microsoft announced it has sold more than 2.5 million Kinect systems in less than a month.
Microsoft said that strong ‘Black Friday’ sales, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States when shops traditionally offer pre-Christmas bargains, helped drive Kinect uptake. The company also sought to allay fears that there could be a shortage of the gaming system in the run-up to Christmas.
Noteworthy is the fact that the company managed to sell over a million units in less than two weeks of the sensor being launched and the company is moving closer towards its target of selling 5 million units before 2011 arrives. At this rate, Microsoft is selling about 107,000 units a day, up from the previous figure of 90,900 per day. With Christmas just around the corner, the 5 million sales targets does not seem very far.
“We are thrilled about the consumer response to Kinect,” said Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment division. “We are working hard with our retail and manufacturing partners to expedite production and shipments of Kinect to restock shelves as fast as possible to keep up with demand.” He said that Microsoft expected to double its current Kinect sales tally by Christmas, racking up sales of five million by the end of the year.
These figures are for the sold stand-alone unit only (which cost around £129) and do not include Kinect bundles, where the sensor is included with an Xbox 360 console.
Microsoft is also apparently considering the launch of a subscription television service to be delivered through the Xbox 360 games console. It is in talks with American broadcaster HBO to secure rights to some of its shows, reports Reuters.
Microsoft is looking towards becoming a “virtual cable operator”, charging a monthly fee for access to networks such as ABC, Fox, NBC and ESPN through the Xbox 360 in the US.
The move will cement the Xbox 360’s reputation as a home entertainment and media hub, and would pit Microsoft directly against Apple, which makes Apple TV, and Google, whose Google TV service has already gone live in the United States.
As of now, Xbox 360 users in the UK can already access Sky’s online platform, Sky Player, through their games console, as well as access on-demand content, such as movies, through Microsoft’s Xbox Live portal.