Kinect Called ‘Bigger Than 360 Launch’ By Phil Spencer

Microsoft has made it very clear that they regard Kinect for Xbox 360 as something akin to a new platform launch. Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer is so bullish on the device, he’s expecting it to blow by early estimates.

“You forecast, you hope, you do your best, right You ship something. I know my manager, Don Mattrick, was quoted saying a holiday target of over 3 million, said Spencer. I think about it in a bigger way than that. Not that Don’s wrong; that’s the number that he stated, but a lot has to happen in order for us to have success. Our content partners have to ship great games, our retail partners have to be there with us, our marketing has to be there in a very impactful way. We are investing in this like we’ve never invested in a platform launch.”

“We’ll have a huge launch portfolio, we want to sell more units than any console has ever sold in its first holiday, a new platform, continued Spencer. Our retail partners are telling us, based on the consumer demand, ‘this is going to be the number one consumer electronics purchase this holiday. Not just in the games space, all of them.'”

“In North America 7,000 retailers are doing midnight events when we ship and our pre-order momentum looks huge. So this, for us, is bigger than Xbox launch, bigger than 360 launch – this is a big deal for us. How many units are we going to sell We’re completely goaled in investing as if this were the biggest console launch ever, and that’s our expectation, he concluded.

Source: Edge

Ubisoft’s Big Spend On Christmas Dancing Titles

Ubisoft made Just Dance and Dance on Broadway into large hits and they’re hoping to continue that this holiday season. They think they have another pair of hits in Just Dance 2 and Michael Jackson: The Experience.

We have been delighted with the performance of Dance on Broadway and Just Dance over the summer months and expect the market to ramp up as we come into the Christmas period, said Ubisoft s group marketing manager Mark Slaughter. We are planning on spending big this Christmas on our key dance titles. Just Dance 2 and Michael Jackson: The Experience will be supported by significant above-the-line spends, as well as strong trade marketing activity.

With Just Dance and Dance on Broadway, we saw great elasticity to TV advertising so with a strong TV buy planned including X Factor spots, we expect a similar reaction, he continued. Both titles deliver a great gameplay experience. Through this high awareness and trial-driving activity, we hope to maintain our leading position in this market.

Source: MCV

Wii Remote Plus Is Real

FlingSmash is described as combining the hands-on fun of tennis with the nonstop action and instant gratification of pinball. It’s not the sort of title that would normally attract attention from the media, but when it recently came out that it was being bundled with a special Wii Remote that had built in functionality of the Wii MotionPlus accessory, interest was palpable.

Still, the posting on GameStop was almost immediately withdrawn, leaving speculation in its wake. However, a Nintendo rep did recently confirm that it “is real” before adding, “We have nothing to announce on this at the moment.”

Source: Eurogamer

DeNA Feeds Astro Ape

Last week DeNA announced that they were acquiring Gameview, and now they are expanding their influence even more. The Japanese mobile game company has invested in the U.S. social game company Astro Ape.

The New Jersey-based developer has created games such as Office Heroes for iOS and now will develop games for DeNA s MiniNation mobile game platform. Astro Ape was  founded by Christopher Cheung, Chieh Huang, and William Fong in March 2009 and is looking to expand on its five employees with a couple more in the next two weeks.

Source: VentureBeat

Zynga By The Numbers

Zynga has gone from a start up to Facebook powerhouse in a short time. Zynga’s CTO Cadir Lee recently spoke at Oracle’s OpenWorld and detailed just how vast the company has become.

Among the stats laid out was that 10 percent of those on the Internet worldwide have played a Zynga game, and 215 million play a Zynga title monthly, with them adding 1,000 servers a week to accommodate the traffic. Zynga’s collection of games move 1 petabyte of data per day, with 3 billion neighbor connections supported between games.

Zynga has 1,200 full time workers working in 13 game studios worldwide. To show how enthusiastic the user base of Zynga was for its games, they noted that the special item Superberry in FarmVille was planted 700 million times by 10 million users.

Source: TechCrunch

Kinect Ads: You Are The Controller

Microsoft is looking to turn up the heat with advertising for Kinect, with these three spots for Kinectimals, Kinect Joy Ride and Kinect Sports. There’s an absolute minimum placed on what’s going on in the game, showing instead the players gesticulating wildly and letting the watcher fill in the blanks with his or her imagination.

Microsoft Wants Kinect To Come To You

Microsoft is looking to launch a Kinect Comes To You promotional competition in the U.K. They are inviting those interested to petition Microsoft to bring Kinect to their area, school, street or backyard via Facebook.

I m really excited to be announcing Kinect Comes to You , where we re giving someone the chance to experience Kinect before it hits the shops, said model and competition judge Sophie Ellis Bextor.

This is an open invitation for people of all ages to join the Kinect party and be among the first to play the fun-filled array of new, controller-free Kinect games, added Microsoft U.K. s director of Xbox and entertainment Stephen McGill.

Kinect for Xbox 360 will release on November 10.

Source: MCV

The Social Network Promoted On MySpace


The Social Network is a direct commentary on the founding of Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and its unflattering portrayal of him as a young man has ensured that Facebook has distanced itself from the Sony Pictures film. So ironically enough, some of the most prominent advertisements have been on MySpace, including an expanded front-page banner showing details of the film, a link to the main website and trailers.

“[It] combines the reach of a takeover, the real estate of a home page skin, and the content of a microsite,” said Nada Stirratt, MySpace’s chief revenue officer.

Source: The Independent

Kinect Games Sponsored By Sprint And T-Mobile

The integration of Chevrolet into Kinect Joy Ride was established in June and detailed in [a]list. Now, Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports are getting sponsorships of their own with Sprint and T-Mobile, respectively.

With Kinect for Xbox 360, we are removing the last barrier to interactive television the controller, said Mark Kroese, general manager of the Interactive Entertainment Advertising Business Group at Microsoft. We have seen tremendous momentum from the advertising community, including big campaigns from Chevrolet, Sprint and T-Mobile. These visionary marketers are leading the entertainment revolution with ground-breaking campaigns that are highly engaging.

For Sprint, they will be sponsoring the launch of Kinect Adventures, with a contest where contestants will compete to have their pictures featured on Xbox Live. Additionally, stations for gamers to enjoy Kinect Adventures will be at Sprint’s New York Comic Con booth.

Kinect Sports will feature fixed product placement for T-Mobile throughout the various mini-games, including volleyball net signage, custom bowling balls and foam fingers held by the arena audience. T-Mobile will also sponsor two Kinect Sports Play & Win programs with two Xbox Family Game Nights in November and January.