8M Kinects Sold, Avatar Kinect Unveiled

During the holiday season, Microsoft raised its forecast of 3M Kinects sold in 2010 to 5M, a bold move considering the unproven technology and the disappointing performance of the Move. However, during the opening keynote at CES last night, Microsoft confirmed that 8 million Kinect sensors have been sold worldwide (that’s sold, not “shipped”, for all you Sony fans out there).

Microsoft also revealed that after six consecutive months as the best-selling console in North America, the Xbox 360 has sold 50 million units globally–double the amount of the original Xbox–with 30 million active Xbox Live members. According the software giant, a new member joins XBL every two seconds.

The keynote also showcased the enhanced Kinect interactivity with Netflix, Zune, ESPN, and the upcoming Hulu Plus.

Avatar Kinect, a “social entertainment experience”, was the final Xbox Live unveil. Avatar Kinect will allow you and a group of friends to join up online and interact virtually, using your Avatars as, well, avatars. The Kinect will track your movement and the Avatar will mimic them. It’s essentially an Avatar chat room, but just how well its received will depend entirely on its usefulness, which still remains to be seen.

Overall it was a very solid keynote, with plenty of celebration-worthy milestones and announcements, but Microsoft really needs to scrap all the creepy old people they bring up on stage. Steve Ballmer looks like the guy who lingers outside the all-girls grade school each afternoon. No wonder no one’s buying the Windows 7 Phone; they’re afraid he might be there….waiting.