Who would have thought that growth opportunities in the game console industry would be in the 50+ market? Well, this Christmas the console wars are heating up for the senior demographic and it’s not for the faint of heart. Last month Microsoft last month released its Kinect system for motion gaming and has its sights set clearly on the senior demographic as part of its overall marketing and advertising strategy. Microsoft’s Kinect visual recognition technology allows the player to stand six feet in front the of the television to play games. Rather than using a controller to monitor motion, the Kinect system tracks individual user movements play the games and responds to voice commands. The Kinect system is an add-on for the Xbox gaming system and retails for $150 and comes bundled for $399. Microsoft’s games for Kinect are designed to promote community gaming and fitness programs similar to the popular Wii Sports that has caught the attention of the senior living industry. Many families are looking at the Wii System and Microsoft’s Xbox/Kinect as a gift ideas that are entertaining, promoting activity and group interaction this Christmas. While 2.5 million Kinects have been sold since its release in early November, its numbers fall short in comparison to the Wii consoles out in the market.
Will Kinect knock-out Wii? Probably not right away but Microsoft historically continues to chase and catch the competition. At least the Kinect will solve the issue of a flying controller breaking the television screen…let’s hope seniors don’t propel themselves into the television.