Microsoft has officially launched its controller-less console accessory for Xbox 360 in the United States.
The software giant held a lavish launch party at Times Square in New York to mark the arrival of the highly anticipated device. On Wednesday Microsoft said that it expects to sell 5 million units this holiday season. Early estimates from IDC research predicted that Microsoft would sell around 2.5 million to 3 million Kinect units over Christmas. Newmax, who manufacture the optical lens used in Microsoft’s Kinect sensors say they will ship as many as 14 million units in 2010.
Winrumors recently reported that Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 console accessory sold out at various retailers. Amazon’s U.S. store and Best Buy’s online site stopped taking any more pre-orders for Kinect shortly before the launch. Retailers in the UK, including Amazon, have also reported high pre-orders.
The Kinect sensor is a horizontal bar that sits at the base of your TV. The device has an RGB camera, depth sensor and multi-array microphone which runs proprietary software. Kinect allows for full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition. Owners will be able to interact with games titles using just their body. Pausing TV and fast forwarding movies can be achieved using a mix of hand movements and voice control.
The software giant has confirmed there will be 17 launch titles for Kinect in the run up to the crucial holiday season. If pre-orders are anything to rely on then it’s likely that the company has a hit on its hands in time for Christmas. Microsoft is set to introduce Kinect in Europe on November 10. Kinect is priced at $149.99 in the U.S. and £129.00 in the UK.