Microsoft to Netflix: Get Moving, You Couch Potatoes!

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There's more confirmation that Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Kinect is a hit.

Steve Ballmer announced yesterday that 8 million of the Xbox 360's motion-based sensors were sold during Kinect's first 60 days on the market.

I'll sheepishly confess that I was skeptical two months ago, when the software giant bumped its 2010 Kinect target from 3 million to 5 million. It seems that even Microsoft didn't know what a hit it had on its hands at the time.

Kinect hit the market years after Wii revolutionized the console industry with its motion-based controllers. Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) seemed to be raising the bar when it rolled out Move for PlayStation owners a month before Kinect, but Microsoft redefined the industry with its controller-free sensors.

Gestures and voice prompts now power Xbox experiences for Kinect owners, and it's going to get even more interesting.

Ballmer announced that Kinect owners will now be able to use Kinect to control streaming playback through Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) and Hulu Plus. It may not seem like much, but as someone who constantly forgets the Xbox controls when streaming a Netflix title, this can be a real gamechanger.

The end result is that streaming will be even more convenient than viewing optical discs, something that Netflix would love to see happen given its burdensome fulfillment costs, wear and tear, and title obsolescence on DVDs.

Ballmer also revealed that Xbox Live is now up 30 million active accounts, considerably more than Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA  ) , Netflix, Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) and all of the other entertainment subscriber services jockeying for position.

Microsoft was late to the motion-based party, but it's proving to be the big winner.

Your move, Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) -- or have you forgotten how to move?

What do you think of Kinect? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Netflix and Nintendo are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is waiting before making the leap to motion-based controllers outside of the Wii. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Netflix. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy, and its illuminating in any level of lighting.

Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2011, at 2:29 PM, techy46 wrote:

    It's not really about Kinect, it's about XBox being the home entertainment and media server for all Windows 7 devices including desktop, laptops, phones and tablets. With Windows 8 this will include all hardware (ARMH, Intel, TI and QCOM). It brings Enterprise Technology (ET) to the Home Technology (HT) which eclipses the consumer electronics that have beem piece mealing the marketplace for the last 5-7 years. It's going to be a whole no ball game with Microsoft and their hardware and media partners.

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2011, at 3:32 PM, pete163 wrote:

    Where dose all these JACKLEG companies come from? First there is pandora that is trying to give away all it's junk and CHARGE up to $700.00 for it's radio box! Then there is Panasonic that has jump on the band wagon, dumping there junk on the market and if any one knows any thing about radio's they know Panasonic is worthless. Now you have Microsoft beating it's drum on a Sirius XM comment site. Why don't they do this on there own site. All of them now see that Wall Street is behind Sirius XM and their starting to jump out of windows over it.

    Stay long Sirius XM and you will win big.

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2011, at 4:12 PM, nickfinia wrote:

    Wow wow wow!!!

    Look out Comcast, Time Warner, Satellite Companies. The 800 pound gorilla is going to crush you soon.

    Jeff Bewkes CEO of Time Warner told CNBC today: Netflix is a not a threat to Time Warner's multi channel HBO television programming service...

    Translation: It is a serious threat. Netflix is kicking the rear end of cable companies and they don't know what to do except heralding useless rhetoric of how good they are. This is the story of the rabbit and the turtle. You know the rest.

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2011, at 4:27 PM, TheDumbMoney wrote:

    techy46 has it right to some extent I think. Ever since at least when Sony tried to make Playstation the center of the media universe, companies have been going for this sort of convergence. But I think people are missing some of the potential for Kinect. For example, while I don't know how strong Microsoft's patents are, and Kinect was never at the center of my buy assumptions, how about this: what if Microsoft licenses the technology for incorporation directly into televisions, for example, as opposed to having Kinect be tied to X-Box, and what if the need to have or use a physical remote control at all thus eventually somehow ends? What TV maker would not consider trying that? And what if Microsoft leverages such deals to strenghten its position as a streaming hub? Etc., etc. We shall see though.

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