Microsoft Readies $500M Push for Motion-Sensing Peripheral

Dennis Faas's picture

After four years of relative quiet, the video game console market is once again heating up.

Nearly half a decade after Nintendo set the standard for motion-sensitive gameplay with its Nintendo Wii console, Microsoft is countering with the Kinect peripheral for its Xbox 360, and the Redmond-based firm is spending big, big bucks on advertising in hopes that it will be a success.

Microsoft to Spend $500 Million On Kinect Advertising

According to reports, Microsoft will spend an estimated $500 million on marketing alone in promoting Kinect, a system add-on for its Xbox 360 console.

The peripheral uses a webcam to track player movements, replicating these actions on-screen in a way that allows a user to interact with his or her virtual environment. The idea is heavily inspired by the Nintendo Wii's Wiimote controller and the motion-sensitive gameplay that has vaulted the Big N's system to top spot in the video game market.

Microsoft will also be hoping to put some distance between the 360 and the Sony PlayStation 3. That may prove challenging, since Sony is releasing its own Wii-inspired peripheral, called the "Move."

Hollywood, TV Personalities Behind Marketing Blitz

If you're not familiar with Kinect, expect that to change dramatically over the next six to twelve months.

Microsoft will be promoting the device in a number of ways, be it through Burger King placements, on the side of Pepsi cans, on the front of cereal boxes, or even on afternoon talk shows. Both the Ellen Degeneres and Oprah shows are set for their own Kinect-inspired episodes, sometime between now and the device's November 4th North American launch date. (Source:

Steven Spielburg Connected to Kinect

Part of the enormous marketing expenditure has involved the consultation of famous movie director Steven Spielberg, who the New York Post says has been working with Microsoft on promoting Kinect.

Microsoft plans to make a total of 17 games available for Kinect when it hits stores in early November. Some of these much-anticipated titles challenge users to dance, play sports, and exercise vigorously -- gameplay elements previously untried by Microsoft Xbox or Xbox 360 gamers. (Source:

Consumers interested in the device should note it will be available for $149 separately or $299 when bundled with the Xbox 360 console, which is required equipment.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet