There were plenty of reasons to get excited heading into yesterday's debut of Microsoft's
Folks had been camping out at Toys "R" Us' flagship store in Times Square since earlier in the week. Microsoft raised its forecast, going from expecting to sell 3 million Kinect units during the holidays to a whopping 5 million.
However, the long lines at the massive Toys "R" Us with the working Ferris wheel inside might have been the result of a special promotion promising $150 in bonus games and goodies for the first 3,000 buyers. Microsoft's amped-up outlook is also difficult to quantify. Are orders really picking up steam or is Mr. Softy simply trying to fabricate hype -- something that routinely happens in the gaming industry?
I'm skeptical. I've been tracking the best-sellers on Amazon.com in recent weeks to get a good read on holiday trends. Kinect appears to be trending considerably better than Sony's
Now there's a little notoriety to overcome. GameSpot -- the video gaming website, not to be confused with video game retailer GameStop
Consumer Reports quickly jumped on the claim for some testing of its own. It couldn't replicate the flaw, saying the problem may simply be a low-lighting issue. It refers to a Hewlett-Packard
Good news: The credibility-bestowing Consumer Reports believes the GameSpot claims are bogus. Bad news: The requirement for providing a consistently well-lit gaming environment may be a turnoff to gamers who prefer to play in dim-lit conditions.
I'm still not sold on Kinect, despite the early buzz. It will need to achieve a critical mass of users for software companies to actively develop for the platform. A motion-based controller also seems like an odd choice to breathe new life into an industry that's been in a funk for nearly two years.
We'll see how it goes. Kinect is clearly in the spotlight this week. Judging by the lighting requirements, a spotlight is probably a good thing.
Does Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 stand a chance? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Activision Blizzard is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a synthetic long position on Activision Blizzard. Motley Fool Options has recommended writing covered calls on GameStop. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard, and 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. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool's disclosure policy wants to connect with you.
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