Microsoft says it has sold 1 million Xbox Kinects in 10 days, giving the company a badly needed hit in the consumer electronics market as the holiday shopping season approaches.
The company reported Monday that it was on track to sell 5 million units of the hands-free, motion-sensing controller by the end of the year. Microsoft this month raised its original sales forecast of 3 million units to 5 million.
Microsoft launched the Kinect Nov. 4 in North America, and six days later in Europe. The company plans to release the device in Asia Nov. 18 and in Japan Nov. 20. By the end of the holiday shopping season, the Kinect will be available through 60,000 retailers in 38 countries, with up to 17 Kinect games also available, according to the company.
Microsoft's Kinect sales reflect the success of the Xbox 360 franchise. The video-game console has topped monthly sales in U.S. retailers for the last four consecutive months, beating rivals PlayStation 3 from Sony and Wii from Nintendo, according to the NPD Group.
Sales of the Kinect, which is an add-on device to the Xbox, is welcome news for Microsoft, given consumers' tepid response to the release of Windows Phone 7-based smartphones earlier this month. About 40,000 units were reportedly sold the first day, compared to the 1.7 million iPhone 4s that Apple sold the first three days the smartphone was available earlier this year. Microsoft has yet to release an official number of sales for Windows Phone 7 devices.
However, the Kinect appears to be a success among Xbox fans. The bar-like device features a camera, audio sensors, and motion-sensing technology that tracks 48 points of movement on the human body. That means players can control on-screen action simply through physical gestures and verbal commands.
The Kinect sells for $149 when purchased separately. Microsoft is also packaging the device with Xbox 360 for $299 or $399, depending on the amount of storage in the video-game console.
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