Microsoft: 66m Xbox 360s sold, 18m Kinects shipped

Metro, Kinect and interactive Sesame Street are the stars of CES keynote

Despite vague rumours of hardware reveals, Microsoft's CES keynote last night concentrated on current products, with a strong emphasis on the Metro interface and Kinect.

CEO Steve Ballmer revealed that 66 million Xbox 360s had been sold since its 2005 release, there were 40 million Xbox Live users, and 18 million Kinects had shipped since 2010.

"We're the world sales leader for the last year in console," said Ballmer.

Even so, the focus didn't seem to be on games as much as new features, with the Kinect's new dashboard voice control demonstrated and a new News Corp app, featuring content from Fox, Wall Street Journal and IGN announced.

Kinect took centre stage again as Ballmer announced a new use for the service, interactive television. This will allow users to connect directly with TV shows. The first compatible programme will be Kinect Sesame Street TV, and Ballmer introduced a demo that showed users throwing coconuts into a box using motion control.

Ballmer also revealed that Kinect for Windows would be available February 1. More than 200 companies, including toy makers Mattel and Toyota, are currently creating apps.

Windows 8, with its new Metro interface familiar to those with a Windows phone or who have updated their Xbox 360 dash recently, was declared "a new way of thinking about your PC," and a Windows Store, which will allow users to purchase apps like Cut The Rope, was also on show.

The current OS, Windows 7, now has over 500 million users, with seven more every second.

The Windows phone also came up with some impressive figures, with 300 new apps arriving on the marketplace very day, and 50,000 currently available.

The keynote was co-hosted by Ryan Seacrest, best known for his role in American Idol.

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Latest comments (4)

Nick Ferguson Sr. Business Development Manager, Amazon6 years ago
Congratulations to the Soho Productions team on their starring role in the keynote. Kinect Sesame Street TV FTW!
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
I know Microsoft are keen to push Kinect as a multimedia device, but where are the games?! It had so much promise which seems to have kind of petered out; it feels like they should be making cool hybrid games using Kinect + controller, but they're more interested in getting consumers to use Bing or watch Sky.

Speaking purely as a consumer, of course. I'm sure it's done wonderful business for them over the last 14-ish months.
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Tommy Thompson Studying Artificial Intelligence (PhD), University of Strathclyde6 years ago
Agreed. As a consumer I still don't see the point in buying the Kinect. Right now its two primary functions are to either play Wii clones or for use with the new interface and apps. As time passes it seems like not only is there nothing on the horizon to change that perception, just reinforcing its connection to the new dashboard. A suite of new gimmicks to help justify not only the purchase, but that horribly constructed dashboard.

Am I overly critical? Perhaps. My time using the peripheral has been less than encouraging. Though if anything could change my mind it would be Sesame Street!
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Julius Malco Freelance Blogger 6 years ago
The recent updates to the Kinect hardware and the dashboard have made navigation very responsive and natural. The voice commands also work great.

However, I do have a problem with the "hardcore" game selection. There really aren't any. All of the ones I own I would consider to be an evolution of Wii games. Don't get me wrong though, I do enjoy Kinect Sports (Both Seasons), working out to Your Shape, and playing with my kids Disneyland Kinect.

There is one game which, IMO, is a sleeper hit - PowerUp Heroes. If you haven't tried it, it's a lot of fun. There are some Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat throwbacks as there is a character with a fireball move (screaming Hadouken never gets old) and another character with a Scorpion "Get over here" move - complete with chain and upper cut finisher.

Punches are a bit delayed or glitchy at times but the hectic nature of the game does make it fun for kids in the 8-10 year old range (and adults who have played any fighting games growing up).

Microsoft showcased Ghost Recon with Kinect support at last year's E3 but I'm not sold on it. I'd rather play a PS Move enabled shooter with an accessory instead.

If Microsoft wanted to capture the casual audience, they sure did.
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