My goal is to keep this little rant as fair and balanced as I can (not Fox News fair and balanced), for I have yet to experience the Kinect. This is merely a look at the advertising techniques that Microsoft has employed on the Kinect product. I might get a little opinionated at times (the middle and end), but I try to keep it fair.
Let me get this off my chest first; I WANT the Kinect to succeed. I really do. But I want it to succeed for the right reasons. That is, the technology should work and the games should be fun. If the Kinect succeeds because of that criteria, than I believe we as gamers have nothing to worry about. However, I fear that this will not be the case. Here is why -
We've all heard the reports of the Kinect advertising budget of $500,000,000 ( - Link 1
- Link 2
- Link 3
- ). Let us see what this has gone towards...
1. Oprah gives her audience members Xbox's and the new Kinect - Sales spike (link
) - YOUTUBE
NOTE - Turn down the volume near the end.
2. Ellen jumps on the Kinect train (Link
) - YOUTUBE
3. Ashley Tisdale hosts an Xbox "party" (Link
) - Stars such as David Beckham attend (Link
I know; if I went out today and started shouting "The Kinect sucks!", I would have about as much experience to back up my claim as someone running out and shouting "The Kinect is the greatest invention ever!".
This advertising push is everything I had feared and more. The Kinect is going to sell. Oh yeah, it's going to sell tons. But not because it is a great product, but because celebrities are endorsing it. I could be eating my words in the future if it turns out that the Kinect is a great product, but as of now, I'm not convinced. A lot of other people are.
Don't worry; I understand that this kind of advertising is prevalent in all forms of product marketing. The first thing that comes to mind is sports stars advertising their "favorite" clothing to their loyal fan base. This is a mindless form of of advertising, and I don't like it one bit. But why am I taking such issue with Microsoft? Because gaming is my hobby, and we've all seen the apocalyptic projections of the future of gaming.
Look at the past two E3s. Great games have been pushed aside to give more time to the Kinect and Move.
I apologize that this is turning more into a rant than I had originally intended. I'm just writing what comes to mind.
Gaming, like anything else, evolves. One day point and click games are all the rage, then first person shooters make their appearance only to be knocked aside by cover based third person shooters. I've stuck with gaming as my main hobby through all of these years, even when I wasn't a big fan of the new type of genre that was taking over the gaming world. Sadly, if motion gaming becomes the new joystick, I might just have to hang up the controllers and actually get a life. I hear that ladies dig guys who can play the guitar.