All the way back when Kinect was called Project Natal, Microsoft was saying it would promote the motion-sensing system's launch as though it were a new console. However, initial reports in the media were skeptical, with industry-research firm DFC intelligence saying its impact on the console race would be "negligible." A British retailer went one step further, saying preorders for the controller-free, camera-based peripheral were "very low."
Today, though, a major game analyst came out with some bullish comments about Kinect. Citing a massive ad campaign by Microsoft that will target the casual audience so successfully exploited by Nintendo's Wii, Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian believes the Xbox 360 add-on will go quadruple platinum by year's end.
"Our checks indicate that the Kinect build is on a pace of ~2M units per month, and we now believe that the mix of Xbox 360 shipments for the holidays will be more heavily weighted toward the Kinect bundle," he said in a note this morning. "As such, we are increasing our Kinect unit sales expectations for Q4 to 4 million worldwide, up from 3 million units previously."
Sebastian went on to say that Kinect is a tad pricey and won't really begin to sell until its cost is lowered. "While launching at $149 as a stand-alone device, we believe the better value is the Xbox 360 bundle for $299. We continue to believe that $99 would be a 'sweet spot' for Kinect, and production quantities suggest that Microsoft may be leaving open the possibility for price promotions on Kinect next year."