Microsoft’s Xbox 360 hands-free controller will either be a major hit, or a total bust this holiday season, depending on who you listen to. Of course until the Kinect is actually released, this is all conjecture, but a new report from Lazard Capital Markets’ Colin Sebastian suggests that the Kinect will attract casual gamers. As a result, Microsoft should sell 3 million units this holiday season, according to a report from Business Insider.
This prediction — or analysis depending on your point of view — is based on the pricing released yesterday, which confirmed the long suspected $149 price for the Kinect bundle. It also introduced a new Xbox 360 4GB model that will be budled with the Kinect and sold for $299.
“We believe that Kinect units are already in production and should be available in adequate quantities for the November launch. We continue to expect that roughly three million units of Kinect will be sold worldwide in 4Q,” Sebastian said. “Microsoft will also begin selling a stand-alone 4GB Xbox 360 in early August for $199, which should help the platform sustain improved sales momentum. Over time, we also anticipate that motion sensors will show up in connected TVs, living room PCs, set-top boxes and other consumer devices.”
If these number are accurate, it would be welcome news to retailers, many of whom are claiming that the Kinect’s pre-orders are alarmingly low. Sales of Xbox 360’s topped the hardware charts last month, so things could be picking up for Microsoft.
“Kinect should broaden Xbox appeal. Games utilizing the Kinect sensor will initially include fitness, dance, sports and kart racing, suggesting that Microsoft is targeting a casual audience. Additionally, Microsoft is pricing many Kinect games at $49 – below the standard $59 price point for Xbox software, but competitive with Wii games,” Sebastian said. “While there are still questions regarding the use of motion controls with core titles (e.g., first-person shooters), we see Kinect as a likely driver of accelerating unit growth for the Xbox.”
We’ll have to wait until the Kinect is released on November 4 to find out if the analysts are correct.