Kinect could create 2.5m new 360 owners this Q4

The arrival of Kinect could provide a significant boost to the installed user base of Xbox 360 this quarter, according to predictions from M2 Research’s senior analyst Billy Pidgeon.

I think Microsoft will sell as many Kinect as can be produced and shipped this holiday season,” Pidgeon told Industry Gamers. If 5m Kinect are available at retail in North America and Europe, 5m will be sold.

Kinect will move new Xbox 360 consoles, but I believe at least half will be sold into the installed base. Here’s an interesting scenario: a tactically deployed Xbox 360 price cut could give Kinect the capability to accelerate penetration to the point where Microsoft could gain a large mainstream user base while still leveraging a very active hardcore base.”

The 5m figure comes from Microsoft’s own sales estimates. The firm had previously predicted holiday sales of 3m+ for Kinect, though last week it increased that by a further 2m.

If it hits these goals, and Pidgeon is correct, that would mean 2.5m additional console sales to new owners on top of whatever hardware MS would hope to sell to more traditional audiences.

With Sony’s PS3 snapping at Xbox 360’s heels in the global market, that would give the format a significant boost with which to finish off the year and possibly provide the momentum it needs to cement a second-place finish in the current hardware battle.

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