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Kinect will struggle to hit mass market

Kinect will struggle to hit mass market

Microsoft may struggle to pitch the Xbox 360 and Kinect to the mass market, say analysts.

Microsoft may struggle to take the Xbox 360 to the mass market level and it's likely that Kinect, the new Xbox controller, may have a "negligible impact" - that's according to market analysts DFC Intelligence.

The problem, DFC reckons, is that Microsoft is fundamentally not an entertainment company and may therefore struggle with using casual games to push Kinect.

"In terms of changing the overall video game hardware platform market share we see [Kinect] having a negligible impact," DFC's monthly brief said, according to Gamasutra. "The Xbox 360 has some good years left, but the platform is clearly on the downside of its lifecycle."

DFC was critical of Microsoft's launch plan for Kinect, which is based around family friendly titles like Kinectimals (a pet sim) and Kinect Sports, claiming that the company has struggled with this approach in the past.

"There are numerous problems with this approach, but the biggest problem is Microsoft, at its core, is simply not an entertainment company.

"Almost every time Microsoft has tried to emulate successful entertainment products they have failed. ... [with the exception of] PC gaming prior to the Xbox and then the Xbox platform itself.

Microsoft, for it's part, has claimed that Kinect isn't aimed only at casual gamers.

Ultimately, DFC believes Microsoft may be unable to effectively spread the appeal of the Xbox 360 beyond the core audience - though it says Sony also may suffer in this regard.

"Products like Kinect and PS Move are an attempt to get around this dilemma [how to push through console mid-life]. Unfortunately, we think they are at best a temporary attempt to tackle a much larger strategic issue."

DFC isn't the only analyst group to be sceptical of Kinect and the PS Move's appeal, with other firms claiming that consumers generally aren't interested in the controllers.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

12 Comments

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mi1ez 1st July 2010, 12:37 Quote
The problem is, Microsoft is pushing casual games, that casual gamers already have on their casual console.
pimlicosound 1st July 2010, 12:57 Quote
I agree - I can't see Kinect being a big success. Casual gamers will probably see it as a more expensive and more difficult to understand version of something they already have. Hardcore gamers will probably see it as a gimmick and a waste of time. I don't see it capturing any market in a significant way.

However, I'm willing to be proven wrong. If Microsoft can get the price down to a point where casual gamers might be tempted to try it, or if developers can find a way to use it as an effective control scheme for some traditional types of games like shooters, racing games or RTS, then it could be a success.
Flibblebot 1st July 2010, 14:59 Quote
The problem is that if you're a casual gamer, almost by definition you'll have a Wii. Neither the Xbox or the PS3 attract the casual gamer audience.

Both Microsoft's and Sony's position will therefore have to be "buy a new console and controller to satisfy your casual gaming needs" - and as mi1ez said above, the casual gamers' casual gaming needs are already satisfied by their casual gaming console: the Wii.
Unknownsock 1st July 2010, 14:59 Quote
Although i agree I'm still intrugued to see how this will play out for the PC.

Something to add to mt HTPC for media purposes maybe?
Fabou 1st July 2010, 15:09 Quote
Common it know bunch of people playing on Xbox 360 who would dream of it. I consider console gaming as casual anyway.
mastorofpuppetz 1st July 2010, 15:49 Quote
you know a couple people? LMAo, great argument. kinect is going to a massive failure, no input device alone is already limiting its usefullness in games. The game they showed at e3 were not even playable, and looked terrible. It also has issues picking up motion at all times and has some lag issues (Se IGNs article).
memeroot 1st July 2010, 17:04 Quote
it all depends on the price and the software... wii had the nintendo brands
DbD 1st July 2010, 17:53 Quote
Most people who own a Wii got it for Wii sports and then when it came out then the Wii fit.

Software wise as long as MS can produce a good sports game and a good fitness one they should do fine. Being as kinect is more impressive then the Wii mote/balance board, and the xbox 360 is much more powerful then the Wii this can't be too hard.
DXR_13KE 1st July 2010, 22:30 Quote
This will be Microsoft's "Rob the robot".
ssj12 2nd July 2010, 02:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastorofpuppetz
you know a couple people? LMAo, great argument. kinect is going to a massive failure, no input device alone is already limiting its usefullness in games. The game they showed at e3 were not even playable, and looked terrible. It also has issues picking up motion at all times and has some lag issues (Se IGNs article).

For the most part your wrong. They showed way more than ONE game. All first party titles sucked and were poorly designed, but third party devs like the guys behind Rock Band created a game that works perfectly called Dance Central which is more of a free form Dance Dance Revolution.

As for reports straight from E3, my fellow co-workers from VGChartz state that Microsoft might be able to fix some of the issues within the next few months. Sony's Move on the other hand worked 100% and is way more functional than the Wii Remote with Wii Motion Plus.
Elledan 2nd July 2010, 11:31 Quote
I don't see Kinect working for casual gamers either. They're unlikely to have an XBox 360 lying around, and even if they do, $150 is a lot of dough for just a few cameras which allow you to play some casual games with at most 2 people at a time.
OnyxLilninja 2nd July 2010, 14:02 Quote
Releasing Kinect as an optional add-in is clearly a terrible idea and is doomed to fail. For these radical new technologies to be accepted and developed for they need to be included as standard with every console (look at N64 controller and Wii remote). Microsoft really should have waited until the next iteration of the XBOX to release this... perhaps this is just the beta version so they can do it properly next time around with a new console.
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