Microsoft’s Chris Lewis has said the key to Kinect’s success is “getting people in front of the technology and experiencing it”.
Speaking with MCV, the European VP of interactive entertainment said getting people to experience the tech first hand was the reason Microsoft was having so many trials in stores around the UK and Europe leading up to it’s November 10 launch.
“From the [Kinect] announcements at E3, right through to Gamescom where we announced the date across Europe, it is about building that rolling thunder of awareness, buzz and trial in the market,” said Lewis. “I can’t speak numbers [regarding marketing cost], but we understand the need to target a broad, younger, older, more female audience. But by necessity that means we are targeting those people through different media, and working in new ways with our online and print campaigns. And that requires us to spend significant sums of money to achieve the awareness we crave.”
When comparing the marketing of Kinect with Xbox 360’s, Lewis said the difference between the two campaigns is the audience, as the core Xbox 360 fan is what “defined” the brand. Lewis added Microsoft is still “committed to the core gamer” despite the new product.
“It is not about moving from the core to the broad,” he said. “It is about ‘and’ not ‘or’. Halo: Reach, Fable III and Gears of War are fabulous blockbuster titles for that audience and there will be more to come.
“You will see some deep, pure Kinect games at launch. Dance Central from Harmonix and Your Shape from Ubisoft scored very well at E3. But over time I think we’ll see hybrid-type experiences, where you have a game that naturally lends itself far more to a controller, but has Kinect experiences built into that where you can use body gestures to control aspects of the game.”
Lewis believes Kinect will help Xbox 360 sell more units during this fiscal year than the prior one, as the device provides a “huge opportunity” and Microsoft has “ambitious targets for growth”. He also believes within the next five years, the console will sell just as many units as its first five years (42 million) “if not even more” in the next five to come.
Kinect launches in the US November 4.