Kinect sells 20 million units

Microsoft’s controller-free Kinect system has come a long way since its 2010 debut — to the tune of 20 million units sold.

Speaking with Games Industry International, Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business rep Mat Barlow said Kinect sales currently sit at over 20 million units, with even more sales expected this holiday season.

“That number’s just continuing to grow,” said Barlow, the general manager of product marketing for the division. “And I know we’ve seen holiday cycles like this. Gift givers coming out to buy Kinect is really going to be a large chunk of the console units sold these days. So 20 million units of Kinect and at the end of this holiday that number should be creeping up as well.”

Barlow also addressed the changing way the company has positioned the controller-free system of interacting with the Xbox 360, which began as a competitor with the Nintendo Wii and has since moved on to become a creature all its own.

“The voice-control stuff is really starting to catch on,” he said. “When I look at some of the stuff we’ve done with Skyrim, some of the integration we have with Skyrim, some of the work with FIFA…voice integration has been unbelievable. If you look at some of the reviews we have on Mass Effect 3 and some of the people who play through using some of the voice control capabilities as well in that game. We’re starting to strike the right chords in the core audience, but I feel like we’re better off having an asset like Kinect and being able to have the broad audience appeal and appreciate it and then trying some different things with the core. I think another thing that I know the core really does like with Kinect when they’re using it are some of the controls for media, whether it’s gesture control inside a Xbox video app or even just a voice search inside the dash, and being able to find things through Bing and find content and control.”

And new, unique uses for the the Kinect do indeed seem to pop up every day, with recent reports of the system being employed as a helpful tool for doctors, as well as a shopping assistant for trips to the market.

“We’ve only scratched the surface. Kinect is going to be something that everyone’s going to want to own,” said Barlow.