By 4 November 2010 | Categories: news


Microsoft's long awaited controllerless motion-based gaming peripheral for the Xbox 360, the Kinect, has launched in the United States.

The Kinect, which will be available for $149 (R1 029) at launch, allows consumers to play video games using only their bodies. 
The flat box-like add-on for the Xbox 360 uses a camera to track player's movement in front of their TV, translating it into the game world. The peripheral also allows users to use voice commands as well, although that functionality won't be available throughout the world on launch day.
Microsoft is depending on Kinect to help them catch up to Sony and especially Nintendo in the motion-based gaming market. Sony and Nintendo both use motion controllers for their systems, so Kinect is no doubt staking its future on its unique control scheme.
According to CNET, Microsoft expect to sell up to 5 million Kinect units by the end of the year. A spokesperson wrote in an email, “so we're increasing our forecast from 3 million sensors sold this holiday to 5 million. That's bigger than any launch in Xbox history”.
It's quite an ambitious target, given that Sony's Move peripheral for the PlayStation 3, which launched last month, sold only 1 million units in its first month on the market. Microsoft has a much more serious hurdle to jump in the form of Nintendo though, the Japanese company says it sold more than 65.3 million Wii controllers in the US since the console's launch in 2006.
The Kinect is also aimed at increasing the lifespan of the Xbox 360 console, which at five years is starting to show its age a little.
Kinect will be launched in South Africa on the 10th of November alongside the launch of Xbox Live for the country, and we'll be there to keep you updated on the details as they unfold. The Kinect sensor with the Kinect Adventures game bundle will be selling for R1 999 at launch in South Africa.


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