Kinect will struggle to hit mass market

Written by Joe Martin

July 1, 2010 | 11:05

Tags: #analysts #industry-news #kinect #motion-control #natal #xbox-360

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft may struggle to take the Xbox 360 to the mass market level and it's likely that Kinect, the new Xbox controller, may have a "negligible impact" - that's according to market analysts DFC Intelligence.

The problem, DFC reckons, is that Microsoft is fundamentally not an entertainment company and may therefore struggle with using casual games to push Kinect.

"In terms of changing the overall video game hardware platform market share we see [Kinect] having a negligible impact," DFC's monthly brief said, according to Gamasutra. "The Xbox 360 has some good years left, but the platform is clearly on the downside of its lifecycle."

DFC was critical of Microsoft's launch plan for Kinect, which is based around family friendly titles like Kinectimals (a pet sim) and Kinect Sports, claiming that the company has struggled with this approach in the past.

"There are numerous problems with this approach, but the biggest problem is Microsoft, at its core, is simply not an entertainment company.

"Almost every time Microsoft has tried to emulate successful entertainment products they have failed. ... [with the exception of] PC gaming prior to the Xbox and then the Xbox platform itself.

Microsoft, for it's part, has claimed that Kinect isn't aimed only at casual gamers.

Ultimately, DFC believes Microsoft may be unable to effectively spread the appeal of the Xbox 360 beyond the core audience - though it says Sony also may suffer in this regard.

"Products like Kinect and PS Move are an attempt to get around this dilemma [how to push through console mid-life]. Unfortunately, we think they are at best a temporary attempt to tackle a much larger strategic issue."

DFC isn't the only analyst group to be sceptical of Kinect and the PS Move's appeal, with other firms claiming that consumers generally aren't interested in the controllers.

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