December 01, 2010, 7:45 AM — Am I the only one who is already sick and tired of hearing Microsoft and Sony trying to one-up each other over sales of their new video game add-ons? Sometimes it's like watching a couple of little kids trying to out-brag each other.
It started when Microsoft announced that it has sold 2.5 million Kinect sensors in the 25 days since launch. You have to admit that selling 100,000 sensors a day is pretty impressive, particularly given all the shortages we were warned about. And it's even more impressive given the weakness of the games available for Kinect. At least the hackers are having fun with it. (Check out the video at the bottom of this post for just one example of what people are coming up with).
It didn't take Sony long to fire back with the news that they had sold 4.1 million Move controllers! So there! Except that after a little prodding by Joystiq, Sony sheepishly admitted that they mean that they have sold, or at least shipped, 4.1 million into retail, not that 4.1 million have gone home with consumers. Those numbers they won't release. Depending on where your loyalties lie, that means either that 4 million Move controllers are sitting in Best Buy and WalMart warehouses, or that almost 4.1 million have sold. There's nothing like some fudge-room in numbers to make for good flame wars.
For the most part Sony took it on the chin in this exchange, and while it slunk off to lick its wounds, the Microsoft juggernaut looked around for someone else to pick on and found a new target. The iPad! The Huffington Post points out that the Kinect is selling twice as fast as the iPad. That has to mean something, right? All right, in fairness I haven't seen this particular stat being mentioned by Microsoft (yet) but given that back in September Xbox's Kudo Tsunoda publicly declared that Kinect would "blow away" the iPad, I figure it's just a matter of time before Microsoft starts using this data point in its marketing arsenal.
Frankly I'm not sure how relevant it is that a video game system peripheral outsells a stand-alone piece of electronics that costs over three times as much, but I guess that's why I'm not in marketing. I'm just a gamer waiting for some truly compelling experiences to arrive for the Kinect or the Sony Move. So far both seem more like novelties than must-have peripherals.
Next up: a detailed breakdown on how Microsoft Kinect outsold Maytag refrigerators on Black Friday.