09.21.10

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Microsoft KINect Has Problems and It’s Behind the Competition (Buttonless)

Posted in Hardware, Marketing, Microsoft at 10:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Microsoft is outspending the competition in an effort to overhype KINect, but the competition is technically superior and Microsoft’s product is still defective, even shortly before its launch

IN reality, Xbox 360 has many technical problems (even management exodus) and today we deal with some of the very latest. No artificial hype is allowed. The consoles market is not a good market to be in right now because “U.S. game sales down 10 per cent in August” and “Nintendo DS, Wii Led 10% Decline in U.S. Game Sales in August”. Nintendo is still a worldwide leader and project Natal is all Microsoft could offer to counter Nintendo, even if Nintendo will be a lot cheaper. Natal was later named Kinect, but can “Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 Can beat the Nintendo Wii?”

Probably not.

Why not?

Well, we wrote about “Natal” since the very beginning and technical problems in KINect (KINect as in “KIN”) are quite routine. We — along with many others — believe that it is going to fail when it arrives (maybe not in the US) and based on this new article, the KINect prototype/test unit still has recognition problems. Is Microsoft going to release a defective product just like it delivered poorly-designed Xbox 360s? The management of this project/product has quit the company since then and who can blame them?

For those of you who are still on the fence on whether or not to pick up Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect kit, we have an article for you to read now, which suggests that the Kinect camera is still suffering from problems.

Sony “takes jab at Microsoft, says 360 is ‘reliant’ on shooters,” argues one gamers’ site amongst others. “Unlike One Of Our Competitors, We Don’t Rely On Shooters” is another angle. A “New Sony Website Jabs At Microsoft’s Kinect,” says Tom’s Guide. To quote: ‘”See what you did there? You clicked it,” the site teases when any one of the six buttons are clicked. “It turns out that buttons are pretty important. Not like ‘save the whales’ important. More like ‘not play games that suck’ important. Cuz they help you… control stuff. Controller. Control. Kinda makes sense.”‘

“In order to plug KINect into some more headlines, Microsoft has begun to associate it with unrelated products like hypePad”Gizmodo has more details about Yaybuttons.com and it turns out that Microsoft’s primitive device did have an opportunity, but those who managed the project did not take the advice of others. Here is some more coverage [1, 2, 3, 4] and a reminder that Sony is coming. Microsoft says it expects Kinect sales to top 3 million units by the end of the year, but that’s just nonsense because they usually end up missing their optimistic targets/projections, which are intended to be self-fulfilling prophecies. It’s marketing, that’s all. The English-speaking press did give the new Japanese contender some coverage too [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Unlike Microsoft’s KINect, Sony’s Move has hardly any complaints about it or negative reviews (none that we could find).

In order to plug KINect into some more headlines, Microsoft has begun to associate it with unrelated products like hypePad [1, 2, 3]. Ridiculous claims and unrealistic projections are being made again. It’s just a lot of marketing and Sony lets it be known that Microsoft spends a huge amount of money marketing KINect, creating ‘synthetic’ coverage. To name some headlines:

- Sony would ‘never outspend’ Microsoft’s Kinect marketing

- Sony: We Won’t Outspend Microsoft

- Sony: We’ll Never Beat Microsoft on Marketing Budgets

As one article puts it, “[i]n the battle of the motion controllers, one of Sony’s top marketers said that pre-orders were encouraging, despite a smaller spend on advertising than its rival.”

Amazon recently dumped Xbox Live Arcade Games and now it’s adding Sony’s Move. It’s a bit of a slap in the face of Microsoft, which is busy filling the press with nonsense (marketing). This certainly works well in the English-speaking world, where Japanese consoles may receive less sympathy. The United States, however, is just one market among many.

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A Single Comment

  1. NotZed said,

    September 22, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Gravatar

    Boy you’re tough. That tech demo from gametrailers is pretty impressive. So it got confused by bits of paper or holding a camera, but it also handled quite a bit quite fairly well too.

    The technology is really quite cool … but as a game controller it is way too limited. It might just work to change channels on your tv, if you’re the only person in the room. Without buttons one trick pony sums it up – it’s just a better eye toy and will have a similarly limited number of uses.

    Not sure about the move myself for a game controller though. From a little white wii to big black shl?ng … with a glowing ball on top. Give me a joystick any day …

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