Gamers, as a rule, have a reputation of not being the most active of people but make no mistake Kinect is not aimed at your hardcore gamers, but at the all important family market over the Christmas period.
Whilst the PS3 and Xbox 360 sales hover around the 45 million mark, The Nintendo Wii has so far sold a whopping 75 million units because they managed to tap into the “Christmas Family Market”. Of course there are now many Nintendo Wii’s that are left unloved and untouched and sales are dropping like a stone because the fickle occasional gamers are looking for something more sophisticated to impress at their Christmas Party.
In my head there will be many snob like scenarios, where people find themselves gathered in a living room of people whom they see once a year and when the Wii is turned on, someone will say “Darling, the Wii is so last year haven’t you seen Microsoft Kinect? We have it and it’s so much better”. At this point the hostess runs upstairs in tears saying “Why do they always have to be better than us and ruin our Christmas”. Christmas ruined! For me, this is the market Microsoft is aiming for.
As news breaks that worldwide sales of Microsoft Kinect smashes the one million mark in ten days, I thought it was about time I should test the latest must have from Microsoft in a home environment. The biggest drawback seems to be that you need to be at least six feet away from your TV with no obstructions in the way. This may be fine for your typical American living room, but I think it’s fair to say that the average UK living room is a little more intimate, or should I say cosy.
Gaming has always been considered a geeky pastime for nerds and adolescent young boys who don’t fit in. The types that will never get a girlfriend so instead spend hours in their bedrooms living out another life via the medium of video games where they can become leaders of an alternative world.
How the world scoffed and looked down on this lowly form of entertainment that they could never understand. The cool kids were great at football and were always out getting laid, and maybe even picked on those geeky game loving outcasts.
That’s the way people have seen gamers for a long time, many years before American movies would flood the world with tales about struggles between Jocks vs. Nerds which is basically the same film made a thousand times.
It seems, however, the world has changed and this was proven recently when Call of Duty: Black Ops became the ‘biggest entertainment launch in history’ generating revenues of $360 million in its first twenty-four hours on sale in the US and UK. Put aside any feelings you have about the COD Franchise for a few moments (Never! – Andy) and try to digest this piece of news. In a twenty-four hour period, one video game has generated more money than any movie release, album or any entertainment ever! The thought that video games can now sell more than movie and music releases combined is simply staggering.
Considering James Cameron’s epic blockbuster Avatar made $232 million in its opening weekend, it puts things largely into perspective, especially considering that Call of Duty Black Ops even looks like it will beat last year’s five day global sales record of $550 million.
Other research suggests that the average age of a gamer in 2010 is now 32 which is a far cry from the adolescent boy locked in his bedroom. This Christmas families will no longer be huddled around a table playing Trivial Pursuit until the early hours but will probably be playing Microsoft Kinect, Playstation Move or the Nintendo Wii.