Microsoft to spend $500M on Kinect marketing - Report

Tech giant spending half a billion to promote new gesture-recognition technology; campaigns include Times Square showing, YouTube front-page takeover; full software lineup announced.


Microsoft has previously expressed how it intends to treat the launch of Kinect as it would a new system. Now, the tech giant has placed a price tag on just how much effort will sit behind the launch of the company’s full-body motion-sensing technology.

There's $500 million behind this sort of thing.
There's $500 million behind this sort of thing.

According to a New York Post report, Microsoft plans to spend $500 million marketing Kinect. The budget is spread through a number of campaigns, including a Times Square event and billboards; a YouTube front-page takeover; deals with Burger King, Pepsi, Time magazine; and more. Microsoft, according to the report, will also spend marketing dollars on advertisements during ABC's Dancing with the Stars, and Fox's Glee.

Kinect, which was previously known as Project Natal, goes on sale November 4. It will be available both as a stand-alone product ($150) and in bundle form ($299 and up).

In other Kinect news, Microsoft today revealed the full software lineup for the technology. Kinect will launch in North America with an eclectic mix of 17 titles, including Kinectimals, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, and Joy Ride. For the full list of Kinect launch titles, check out the blog of Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, Xbox Live's director of programming. The Xbox 360 launched in 2005 with 18 titles to its name.

The European Kinect release slate will include all 17 North American titles as well as Get Fit With Mel B from Black Bean Games/Lightning Fish, and Crossboard 7 from Konami.

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Avatar image for cons11

MS invested WAYY to much money in kinect, it looks alright, but its not really for me, give me a controller anytime!!

Avatar image for ScottTribal

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for bat725

MS doesn't realize that parents didn't buy their kids a Wii just for the motion-control, but because it's NINTENDO!!! You know, the name that's synonymous with Disney and Nick, Jr, because it's a brand for kids, and it's the name that parents trust. Move and Kinect will be epic failures, more so the Kinect due to the ridiculous amount of money that MS is investing.

Avatar image for COPMAN221

Give me the $500 million and I will embrace it like a mofo!!! :)

Avatar image for steelmouth

holly crap ms got money to burn,if only they could invest in new exclusives maybe something with less shooting

Avatar image for Undead-Souls

Umm the PS3 move system has sold over 1 million already, so I'm not sure where GunGriffin gets his info...

Avatar image for GunGriffin

BTW for people screaming that Microsoft dropped the core: Try to find info on the fallowing exclusive titles for both Kinect and non Kinect games: Non Kinect games: XCOM rated M Codename Kingdoms Rated M from Crytek

Avatar image for GunGriffin

It's more then Sony is going to spend on PS Move it's already flopped hard in the market place it only sold 12 thousond units world wide, and then it stopped and has slowed down to a crawl mean while Microsoft is getting it's killer adds ready to roll for Kinect to show the actual games, and poeple having fun with the hardware. Instead of doing this Sony opted to openly attack it's compettitors with an 80s Mac styled add of "Only cool people buy our prodcuts! Get PS Move if you want to be cool!" But the people in the market for these items saw that coming a mile away and nobody likes to buy stuff for kids when it's adds are nothing but boasts about how you suck if you don't own our gear crap. The reason Kevin butler was great for selling PS3 hardcore games is they sold the fact that they were fun, and creative to play, but instead of more of that they fell back on the old they suck, we rock add stuff Sony used for the PS2 camras, and HDDs and we all know how badly that turned out.

Avatar image for ejay_kain

@digi-demon well if the kinect is downgraded, then the E3 demonstration was not really truthful. You would expect that that kinect is capable of everything that it showed. It would be a bummer if after purchase it would be otherwise.

Avatar image for XAF1

True hardcore gamers shouldn't feel threatened by Kinect but learn to embrace it. I can honestly say that I'm a true hardcore gamer but the term seems to mean less today than it did during the earlier console generations---importing games, collecting games and consoles, weird but fun games. Hardcore gamers play a little bit of everything not just FPS, War Sims, or sports games. We realize that we set the standard for the new and unique, otherwise there would be no FPS on consoles if not for us---many computer junkies said it couldn't be done. MS is investing in Kinect because it believes in it and the possibilities that can come with Kinect in the future. Think about how little it pushed the HD-Dvd add-on and how much it's pushing Kinect. It has to believe in it a great deal. I don't think that it's planning to let Kinect fail, nor is MS planning to cut back on controller based games for gamers who prefer them. MS is just offering something new to gamers who wish to explore every avenue of gaming. To be honest, that's what true gaming is all about, not just being a couch potato or a whiner. I agree, the current line-up isn't all that great but I'm eager to see what things will be like this time next year when developers have had more time.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@N0tYrBeezin You mean << LINK REMOVED >>? Again, I don't see how it was sensationalized in any way. Whoever wrote that was merely quoting others. There wasn't any highly opinionated statement from GameSpot either for that one.

Avatar image for digi-demon

@ejay_kain And your point is?...... @Heshertonfist I heard wrapping a giant lemon in gold foil is pretty expensive! - lol. ... I mean, just ask Sony about the original FAT PS3 and im sure they will explain it to you...

Avatar image for digi-demon

Maybe they should have spent it on Natals product development and provide a decent add-on - then they wouldn't need to waste all that ca$h on naff advertising as a good product sells itself... As a 'day one' Wii owner - IMO Sony Move / Natal are uninspiring pale imitations - blatant motion control cash cow 'rip-offs' :(

Avatar image for ChiefFreeman

that is a HUGE amount of money, even for moneybags Microsoft to spend on a marekting campaign. If Kinect fails, this will be a big black mark on the Xbox 360s progress.

Avatar image for syam32245340

casual gamers....

Avatar image for grasshopper6

maybe if the 360 didn't freeze so much more people would get it

Avatar image for deactivated-57bac25e99ee3

It feels like MS is leaving the hardcore audience in the dust, name me one fully exclusive hardcore game aside from Forza 4 and gears 3 next year...

Avatar image for scratchisme

The problem is with not Kinect as hardware. The real problem is the lack of any software that really takes advantage of it.

Avatar image for aGiantSquirrel

I like how M$ advertises Kinect like its the first attempt at controller free gaming. Its funny, because we gamers know thats not true, so it's obvious they are marketing Kinect to casual gamers who know little or nothing about the gaming industry. Theyre the only ones that will believe M$. To me, its a waste of money for basically a menu browser because it has no good games for it. Whats the point of a menu browser anyway if your a gamer, either way you got to get your lazy arse off the couch to grab a controller to play your halo? So, I dont understand the point!

Avatar image for Jak_Napier

hopefully it'll be worth it. Thats a large investment into something that isnt entirely granted a sucess unlike the COD games for instance.

Avatar image for RadicalToenail

Pay me $500 million and I'll buy it.

Avatar image for mAArdman

It's obviously marketed towards the casual crowd. 300 bucks seems a bit high for being able to pet virtual tigers. If you could strangle them and cook their heads, I might consider it.

Avatar image for ejay_kain

i have read on a dutch website << LINK REMOVED >>, that the kinect device will have another lens then showed on demo's. The lens will not recognize sign language and will only read your arms and legs positioning. This all to cut expenses. Also the resolution will be downgraded from 640x480 to 320x240. Is this true???? Or just a stupid rumor.

Avatar image for wiidsduelpack

Microsoft will probably sell Kinect for $100 to retail. They'll need to sell 5,000,000 to offset marketing. Another 3 million to balance research and development. / That's such a risky product

Avatar image for Trogeton

Id get it if I had that kind of spare change lol

Avatar image for LTB__

So, it's the same thing as the eyetoy, but $100 more. Seems like a deal to me.

Avatar image for Heshertonfist

What kind of marketing costs that much?

Avatar image for hannify

Wow! So much money...

Avatar image for EddyG0RD0

Thats some expensive Eye-Toy right there. Its official , Xbox360 is the last console we will see from M$ , good riddance ; you wont be missed.

Avatar image for N0tYrBeezin

@ Gelugon_baat You must have missed the last time they did this. It was reported that Starcraft II was made with 200 million (or 100 I don't remember) but it turned out to be false. Shortly after Blizzard denied that money figure.

Avatar image for nissanmaxima

well i am just waiting on nov 4th to get my hands on mine. just gonna wait and buy a game when they start having better games for it. i am just looking forward to using it on the dashboard.

Avatar image for Hvac0120

Microsoft has been more successful with it's marketing than it has with it's actual hardware. So it comes as no surprise that marketing is how they plan to sell Kinect. Microsoft has had some really clever marketing and it will likely bring in more sales than Kinect actually deserves. Conversely the marketing for Kinect will raise awareness of the Playstation Move simply by association. If Sony plays their cards right, they could benefit well from Microsoft's investment.

Avatar image for FabledVeteran

And at the high price of $150 for a standalone Kinect, will all the $500,000,000 spent on advertising it be made fact they need to sell around 3,400,000 of kinect to make a decent amount of profit on it now The technology is cool, but i prefer to sit on my arse and play Mass Effect 2, if i want to move around, i go outside and play football... it works out cheaper for me that way

Avatar image for WafflePrime

Although I admire the fact that this wasn't a direct Wii copy (MOVE) I still feel that playing without any controller will just make anyone look like an idiot. I could be wrong but regardless I wont be buying Kinect

Avatar image for firehawk998

The $500 million advertising budget could have been well spend on making new IPs or putting the money in R&D for the next xbox. I seriously dont know how Kinect will fare in terms of sales. I can bet that some of the budget went to Justin Beiber for promoting Kinect on his stupid music videos.

Avatar image for method115

@ mattcake You can't really blame them for pushing it out first. It's what Microsoft did with the 360 and a reason many people believe why Microsoft is ahead in console sales.

Avatar image for method115

@ Tarfang2 Are you kidding me windows 7 phones? No one is buying that crap. People are getting an Android or the Iphone plus. Maybe they can steal away from loyal black berry customers.

Avatar image for Slagar

Uhh, uhuh, hmm, Microsoft, are you sure that's a good idea? Why not save that money for next gen?

Avatar image for PandaBear86

I guess Sony's marketing chief was correct when he said "We will never outspend Microsoft on anything" :P

Avatar image for Tarfang2

to be honest microsoft can spend 500m on kinect as kinect will sell enough to cover that and the kickass windows phone 7s are out

Avatar image for mattcake

It's a shame Sony pushed the Move out too early with hardly any software support just to beat Kinect to the market, because Move has far more potential for the non-casual gamer but its in danger of being ignored with the near-non existant advertising it received. Kinect has much better tech and allows many more interesting applications, but for actually playing a decent non-casual game I think this first generation of it will be too glitchy and laggy for most gamers.

Avatar image for Supabul

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for deactivated-57fce817a4cf5

That's too much for such a risky product. M$ have not been making the smartest of business decisions lately.

Avatar image for mike12431

@JPH85 Yeah well I should have said that I consider a few million to be >$1 mil.

Avatar image for david60639

I have no interest and don't see myself ever having an interest in this sort of "gaming".

Avatar image for Petruvai

The Kinect seems amazing, but I haven't seen a single game that interests me yet. I hope the future is brighter for Kinect. (not that it won't sell, though, it's completely aimed at competing with the Wii)

Avatar image for chingchow48

You come on gamespot and hear people going this is gonna fail and when will this motion gaming fad die... Well it probably wont for the next 10 years or so, Kinect is a huge leap forward from the motion control things we have today I still remember all the people hating on the Wii which is funny cause it has sold more then the 360 and the PS3 combined hahaha called it a gimmick but if i was a investor i sure as hell wouldnt be putting my money anywhere near the 360 or the PS3, This article also failed to metion that the Kinect will be on Oprah which will be another huge promotion, sometimes i think people on here are just plain stupid, This will succed ive already stated that on gamespot comment forums before that the Kinect will hit 5 million in sales by feb. and i also said that MS would put tons of money into Kinect and i always got thumbs down so hey thumbs me down again idc ill be back in feb. to tell you all to look at he sales of the Kinect cause people this is a microsoft (marketing team) that outsold the PS3 by a semi large margin when really the PS3 is a better overall system

Avatar image for Binarynova

Good for them. I'm still not buying one. :)

Avatar image for MOwens9512

Must be nice to be so vested financially that you can dump a half a billion dollars to promote a video game system add-on LOL. I doubt Nintendo has spent that much advertising the Wii between the day of it's announcement and present day. Shouldn't be a shock that Microsoft did this; remember, this is the same company that drops millions of dollars to secure exclusive rights to products for a limited amount of time. They must be really banking on that 10 million sales point for Kinect; it'll take them selling almost 3.5 million just to make back the advertisement money. Sad thing is, it's probably gonna end up paying off LOL.