Kinect Breaks Guinness Record, Sells 10 Million Systems

Microsoft announces record-setting Kinect sales, says over 10 million standalone games sold worldwide to date.

It looks like Kinect's officially a record-setter, grabbing Guinness' attention long enough to snag the title 'fastest selling consumer electronics device'. According to Microsoft, their controller-free Xbox 360 motion-sensing camera has sold a whopping 10 million units since it launched in early November last year.

Read that again: 10 million units. We're talking iPhone-beating launch (and comparable sustained) sales here.

To be clear, that's units sold, not sold-through. The distinction's ever-important, since it refers to Kinect sensors shipped to stores by Microsoft, but not necessarily plucked off store shelves by customers. The numbers are probably close, though, and I'm told Kinect sales through the holidays were pretty close to the company's undisclosed sell-through figures.

Guinness's independent hand adds serious oomph to the press statement. The records-keeper notes Kinect sold through an average of 133,333 units per day (since November 4) and rallied an astonishing 8 million units during its initial two months on sale, through the holidays.

Let's get Guinness on the record. Gaz Deaves, Editor of the Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer's Edition, writes "The sales figures here speak for themselves" and confirms that "no other consumer electronics device sold faster within a 60-day time span," calling it "an incredible achievement considering the strength of the sector." By "strength" he means the downturn in overall 2010 video game revenue.

Microsoft adds that it sold more than 10 million standalone Kinect games worldwide to date. If that sounds like an odd match for units sold to you, it does me too. It implies Microsoft's selling games and sensors on a 1:1 basis. Maybe I'm missing something, but you'd think that many Kinects sold might yield at least a 2:1 or 3:1 games-to-sensors ratio.

In any case, hats off to Microsoft for an unmitigated success. I still have mixed feelings about Kinect, but I know the company's working on tightening things up, and bringing more of the sort of games I'm into to the motion-control party soon.

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Matt Peckham

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