One piece of news disclosed by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer here at the Consumer Electronics Show last night was that cumulative sales of Kinect have surpassed 18 million units since the motion controller for Xbox 360 launched in the fall of 2010. In addition, cumulative Xbox 360 sales have topped 66 million units worldwide, and Xbox Live members are up to about 40 million.
That means Kinect now represents more than 25 percent of the population of Xbox 360 consoles, up from 18 percent a year ago. The growth gives Microsoft leverage to continue integrating the Kinect more deeply into the Xbox experience — as it did with the Xbox Live update this fall that expanded voice and gesture controls for the interface.
The figure of 40 million Xbox Live members is up from about 30 million a year ago. Xbox Live membership represents about 60 percent of the Xbox 360 installed base, a proportion that has been relatively steady over the past few years.
By comparison, Sony had sold more than 55 million PlayStation 3s as of last fall, the most recent figures from the company. As of last summer, Sony cited sales of 8.8 million PlayStation Move controllers, which was behind Microsoft at the time.
Nintendo remains the unit sales leader, with more than 90 million Wiis sold.
Also last night, Ballmer gave a timeframe for the rollout of Kinect on Windows, saying it would launch Feb. 1. The company has promised to release a new version of the sensor tuned for commercial and consumer applications on Windows PCs.