Analysts back MS's 3m Kinect sales claim

But it's a "high price" for gamers.

Microsoft reckons upcoming motion-sensing add-on Kinect will sell over three million units this Christmas, destroy iPad sales and perhaps even be the biggest platform launch of all time.

But will it? Eurogamer chatted to three top analysts to get their verdict on Microsoft's bold and brash Kinect sales claim - and they all agreed.

"Microsoft hasn't been shy about their aggressiveness with the Kinect, something I can respect," Jesse Divnich, vice president of Analyst Services, told Eurogamer.

"Microsoft hasn't had the most successful launches in the technology sector over the last few years. Bing and Zune continue to struggle, and the Kin, Microsoft's giant step into the mobile market, is now officially discontinued.

"I believe Microsoft is just simply communicating to us all that the Kinect will not be another Bing, or Zune, or worse, Kin.

"Three million units is certainly aggressive, and it is rare to see any organization toss out unit estimates well before launch, but I believe it just speaks to the high confidence level within Microsoft.

"With Microsoft's plan to aggressively market the Kinect this holiday season, hitting three million units is possible."

Outspoken Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter agreed.

"It seems reasonable to me," he said. "They're going to likely sell close to three million Xbox 360s in November and December, and the Kinect bundles are pretty attractively priced, both for entry level (with the Arcade model for $300) and for replacement (with the 250Gb model for $400).

"My guess is that they will sell around half of consoles with the bundle, so they need another 1.5 million standalone units to hit their goal."

Pachter, however, reckons the 130 Kinect will be a "high price" for hardcore gamers.

"I'm not as optimistic as you that this is a conservative figure. The standalone units mean that existing 360 owners are willing to pay $150 for something that they aren't convinced they need.

"I think that's a high price for a 'nice to have' peripheral, and although I see the potential of Kinect over time, I'm not sure that most gamers will see that as a necessary option, particularly if they just bought Halo Reach, Fable, Medal of Honor, Vanquish and Call of Duty."

Colin Sebastian, from Lazard Capital Markets, also backed Microsoft.

"This sounds like a reasonable expectation for sell-through, and is consistent with our estimates," he said.

Microsoft expects Kinect, due out on 10th November in the UK, to breathe five more years into the Xbox 360's life.

15 launch games are planned, along with a huge marketing push and a redesigned Xbox 360 interface.

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