MICROSOFT is expecting to sell 5m of its new controller-free Kinect gaming systems this holiday shopping season, potentially adding $750m to the software company’s revenue this quarter.
The $150 device, which plugs into Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console and allows users to play games simply by using gestures and voice commands, goes on sale at midnight in 30,000 stores across the United States.
Microsoft is hoping to challenge Sony Corp’s Move and Nintendo Co’s Wii in the expanding motion-based gaming market.
The company forecast 3m Kinect sales, but a Microsoft executive then raised the projection to 5m later.
There will be midnight events at 5,000 US stores to mark the launch of the new product, which Microsoft hopes will reinvigorate the $60bn global video game market, which has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Overall, more than 30,000 US stores will sell Kinect, including branches of Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, GameStop and online at Amazon.com. It goes on sale on 10 November in Europe and 18 November in Asia.