Microsoft has had a fantastic November and is taking the gaming world by storm as it launched the Xbox Kinect hands-free motion control system on 10 November. The Kinect allows players to use their voice and body as controls, without the need for a controller, through an integrated camera, motion sensors and a microphone.
Kinect has been selling at a breakneck pace, with 2.5 million sensors sold within its first 25 days on the market. This means that UK consumers have been purchasing the Kinect twice as quickly as the iPad following its launch, which hit the 2 million mark two months after it’s release.
These figures are reflected in BrandIndex scores, with Satisfaction for Microsoft increasing by 20.7 points following the launch of Kinect. In comparison, Apple’s Satisfaction score rose by 9.9 points subsequent to the release of the iPad. It is without doubt that Christmas shopping has boosted these sales figures; leading to Microsoft hitting its highest Satisfaction score of 50.9 in 2010 to date.
However, Apple did outscore Microsoft on Buzz following the launch of the iPad, by an increase of 19.4 points. Microsoft’s Buzz grew by 17.3 points to a peak score on the 22 November. This suggests that the iPad caused greater hype with more people hearing something positive about the brand following its release.
The challenge for Microsoft will be to avoid a Nintendo Wii-like shortage of Kinect systems in the run up to the holiday period. In both 2007 and 2008, it was virtually impossible to purchase a Nintendo Wii during the Christmas period. Despite Nintendo’s best efforts to keep the consoles in stock, they simply couldn’t produce enough Wiis to meet consumer demand. However, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft has what it takes to boost production in order to meet the growing demand for Kinect, and maintain high Satisfaction and Buzz scores.