Xbox Live marketing man Craig Davison has said Kinect is something consumers have been waiting on in order to have a “more interactive home entertainment experience”.
Speaking with Gamasutra, Davison said Live’s user base is currently “on the far side of 25 million” and the usage of entertainment applications such as Netflix and Zune, as an example, has “nearly doubled”.
“We’re also seeing some pretty interesting trends around [Xbox Live] Party [Mode],” he said. “We’re seeing more people use Party Mode in an entertainment app instead of historically where it’s been most utilized — within a gaming app — as well.
“[With Kinect] we want to basically change the ways that you’ll be interacting with all of it. Will it stick? We’re pretty confident it will, if the beta data that we’re seeing coming back is any indication. And then of course we’d love to calibrate and standardize as much as we can around the features that are really popping, no matter what it is.”
Davison said the beta data is being “calibrated” so as to “create an environment that’s far easier to get into” and make it specific for users by optimizing what users chose the most. So far, people seem to be having the most fun out of just playing around in a controller free hub, according to Davison.
“We’ve seen people spend, in our focus groups, a lot of time just doing this… ‘Oh my gosh! This is so much fun! Look at this’,” he said.
Because of the wow-factor of the controller-free interface, Microsoft expects 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” for even non-gamers.
Kinect is out November 4 in the US and on November 10 in Europe.