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Plugged In

Is Kinect the new Wii this holiday season?

Plugged In

Narnia Island

Just a few years ago, parents and gamers alike were lining up in the
dark for a chance to snag the impossible-to-find Wii at their local
Target or Toys 'R Us. Nowadays, walking into a store to scoop up a Wii
is a cakewalk; good luck finding an Xbox Kinect motion-control camera,

View photo


Kinect - Microsoft

Microsoft just announced that after
only 25 days on the market, it's managed to sell — and yes, they're
saying "sell," not just ship — a whopping 2.5 million Kinects, or about 100,000 Kinect sensors a day.

Pretty impressive, especially once you consider that the Nintendo Wii — once the hottest gaming console on the market, although sales have cooled over the past year or so — sold "just" 600,000 units in its first eight days back in 2006, or about 75,000 consoles a day. (CNN sagely notes,
however, that the comparison isn't entirely fair, given the Wii's
then-$250 price tag, versus the $150 sticker price for the cheapest
Kinect bundle.)

Meanwhile, Sony's own motion controller for the holidays — the PlayStation Move — is also moving some serious units, although hard sales figures are tough to come by.

Sony says it shipped a million Moves in the controller's first 30 days on
the market — although "shipped" doesn't necessarily mean "sold," as Ars Technica points out — and crowed back in October that it had already sold (not "shipped") 1.5 million Move units in Europe.

So … does that equal 2.5 million Move bundles rung up at cash registers
since the controller's mid-September debut? Unknown, for now. Update: Sony now claims it has shipped 4.1 million Move controllers to retailers worldwide, although once again it's not clear how many Moves have actually been sold to gamers.

Anyway, the PlayStation Move (which starts at $99 for a single controller bundled with Sports Champions, Sony's version of Wii Sports) appears to be readily available online
and in stores, with retailers such as Amazon, Toys 'R Us, and Gamestop
showing the Move "Starter Bundle" in stock and ready to ship.

The same can't be said of Kinect, however.

Amazon, for example, isn't even letting you put the $150 Kinect bundle (which includes a copy of the family-friendly Kinect Adventures) in your shopping cart. A message on Amazon's Kinect product page reads that due to "high demand," Amazon is "limiting orders" for the motion sensor to one per customer, and that "we cannot guarantee that we will
receive additional quantities in a timely manner."

New and used Kinect bundles are available through third parties via Amazon,
but expect to pay $200 and up, a $50 premium over the regular MSRP.

The situation is a little better at Gamestop's website, which lists the 4GB
Xbox 360 bundled with Kinect (for $299) as in stock and shipping within
24 hours. The $150 Kinect bundle is back-ordered, however, and the
250GB Xbox/Kinect bundle (which retails for $399) is listed as
"currently unavailable online." doesn't have the 4GB or 250GB Kinect bundles, but it does have a special Kinect package — including the Kinect sensor, Kinect Adventures, and a choice of two more Kinect games — in stock, for $250.

If you've got your heart set on Kinect for the holidays, you could always
try a Kinect stock tracker, a tool that'll bring back memories for
anyone who was scrounging for a Wii back in the day.

Again, though, the news looks grim, with's Kinect tracker showing each and every Kinect bundle as "out of stock"— well, save for that $250 Kinect bundle at Walmart.

And yes, there's always eBay, but prepare to pay through the nose if you go that route.

So, are you having trouble finding Kinect in stock? Got any Kinect shopping tips? Let us know.

— Ben Patterson is a technology writer for Yahoo! News.

Follow me on Twitter!


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