Kinect So Good Microsoft Has To Pay People To Buy It

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Microsoft’s Japanese launch of Kinect has predictably turned into a marketing farce of epic proportions.

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One eager gamer, Microsoft would have people believe, queued for hours to be the first in line for the device as “I wanted to be the first in Japan to get one!”

Here he is receiving the first Kinect to be sold in Japan from a Microsoft honcho – what an honour!

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Unfortunately, 2ch recognised the man from a previous “this product is so amazing people are queuing all night for it” shill piece – that time the same man was interviewed for the Japanese release of the iPhone, obligingly saying “Well, it’s a worldwide thing isn’t it? You just have to ride the big wave!”

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He also helped with manufacturing a sense of popularity on the launch of the iPad:

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For this he became known as “Big Wave.” In fact, on his homepage he identifies himself as “Butch,” and helpfully lists his occupation as “sakura” – i.e. rent-a-crowd or shill.

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Just how much of the queue outside Yodobashi Camera was hired for the benefit of cameras is not clear, though the PR stunt soon backfired as 2ch and non-corporate gaming sites began to ridicule Microsoft for having to go to such lengths – although TV and gaming rags obediently reported a packed launch event in central Akihabara.

The supposed scene from actual Akiba shops, as photographed by 2ch and not the mass media:

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Microsoft’s launch campaign has actually had to try to convince Japanese that a standard “6 tatami mat” sized room (about 10m2) is large enough to play in, with mixed results – some reviewers note that whilst just possible, it is an extreme hassle. The bouncing around is certainly unlikely to endear Kinect playing residents to those in neighbouring apartments.

Given all this, whatever the merits of Kinect itself it can probably be written off as “unsuitable for Japanese homes,” so Microsoft perhaps deserves respect for trying despite the obvious futility of trying to persuade a sceptical public of Xbox non-owning casuals to buy both controller and console and then rearrange their tiny rooms around them – not that this will be much comfort to shareholders left footing the bill for the exercise.

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125 Comments

  • Japan is the home of DDR, insulting Kinect due to lack of space is weird.
    Japan dislikes xbox. I remember being told that if a game is Western created = crap game. That being said, I used to love Japanese games when I was a little girl. Now, I’m indifferent. Wii games take up a lot of room, too. Wii Fit has been doing really well in Japan. That game takes up space. I have to rearrange my furniture to play it. They should just re-release it under a Japanese name. Sales would be huge, problem solved.

  • lol another marketing fail when will you learn microsoft? “-______-

    btw most japanese don’t have huge bedrooms, most of them have compact spaces. only a TV, bed, a bookshelf and desk are already taking up most of the space. they don’t have time to rearrange all of this just to play this abomination.

    i love the Wii mote, Playstation Move when done right, games like No MOre Heroes, Madworld, Resident Evil Light Guns, House of the Dead, Trauma Series and so on.

  • Mysterious Voice: “Another failure that comes out of the sh*t company of America. That is a country that deserves to get nuked.”

    Oh, would you just lighten up? I think it’s just a little too early to make judgments on it already. Give it a bit of time before you decide if it’s bad or not.

    Mysterious Voice: “Okay, first of all…” *fires gun* “…that’s for questioning my logic. Secondly…” *fires again* “…that’s for censoring me.”

    …just leave me alone…why dontcha…

    Mysterious Voice: *fires yet again* “No.”

  • He’s employed to hype up events? lol I think he just bombed on his resume for becoming too well-known.

    I do have to question what makes Kinect so much more unusable than with someone who enthusiastically plays a Wii though.

  • why dont try to fuck your xbox360 you damn anons *shakes fist*
    there are too many reasons why microsoft should stop making addons for systems that killed themselfs
    i mean shup up you fanboys stop fapping on your shitbox and get a manly Ps3!

  • Most of japanese people live in apartments soo….no space……not buying kinect.I lived in japan , in a apartment and , is very limited the space , only ppl that lives in HOUSES(mansion) can buy ,because of the space.

  • Doing it wrong. They should just create a dating sim of sorts with cute girls and let you interact with them. Now that would boost Kinect sales, a bit.
    Japan in general still won’t buy an american console.

  • Too bad Microsoft wants to market the Kinect and 360 now as family friendly.

    Now, the Kinect will start selling if you have visual novels and other risque games being released that take advantage of it. The buying power of otaku….

  • Well, just one of those dirty tricks companies tend to employ even though most people already knows about it. Though, the point in doing this is to instill the minor psychological effect on people that tells them to buy what another bought. It’s somewhat in the same group of effects that advertisements come with as well.

    Apparently selling is hard thing companies are trying very hard to force their products on people. Well, if they spent all that money in building years of customer trust through the making of actual quality products we would have been seeing lesser of these. As it is, stuffs are mostly selling on fad.

  • Well at least they finally placed a demo not in a major electronics store.

    Thou their choice of location is not much better, as it looks like the business section. And it’s not a very good picture, to judge by. With so little people walking passed, it’s probably taken between 9am-11am. So all of the kids are at school, the adults are working and only a handful are out shopping. Only two people even have shopping bags with them.

    Maybe they should offer a free Kinect title to every person who tries it. At least it’d reward people for making an ass out of themselves.

  • Microsoft should of approach social outlet of there product instead of the games. I remember correctly they introduce the Video chat feature on the Kinec on the Xbox 360.

    The problem is your Avarage Japanese Gamer that lives in a Apartment space that is small.

  • maybe if you people had the money to get a big place you would realize its preaty fun and it works i have 8-7 space it works fine games are still preaty much the same thing ass the wii but its works better with no controller

  • I bought Kinetc the last week and have a good time with the launch line of games, at last a lot better than the release line of Move games (I have a ps3 and move too)

    Move haves a sense of deja vu, the experience is the wiimote but more accurated and thats it. nothing more, nothing less. Kinect is diferent. I expected an eye toy clone, but is pretty diferent.

  • MS just needs a Love Plus type game for the kinetic. Think of all the fun things you could do with them.

    Though with the anti-pantsu memo a notworthy chance will be passed up to cash in on all the lonely males that only want fake girls friends.

    • yeah this is what Japanese people will convince to love M$

      M$ needs to make more pervert games because EVERYONE is a rapist and childfucker there
      But well..Everyone in the West loves CoD and kills people in Real Life right?…

    • jamesownsall says:

      What they would really need is straight-up porn.

      They had something quite close to that in their hands, but they have to cave in to that need for ‘positive’ PR and slowly shutting off the only slice of the Japanese gaming demographic(otakus) that would really spend big bucks for them, and cancel that school-girl shooting game or whatever it was.

      Has Microsoft became so big that they don’t care about that little bit of sales they can make off the otakus? Maybe Japan’s X360 marketing division is giving up themselves…

  • Ok thats a nice once from 2ch to have found this “sakura” guy. So, MSFT may have paid some people to do so… And ?

    Come on, it is obvious those picture of empty Akihabara were taken at like 8 or 9 AM when not all shops are open. (Just look at the first pic : one shop is closed just next to it,
    And if you know Akihabara, you know that it is impossible to have so few people on a Saturday afternoon in front of the Yodobashi camera as this photo was taken)

    I have a xbox and a ps3. I don’t have any preference for one or another (nor I own stocks in MSFT or SONY), but this kind of bashing is starting to get really annoying…

  • Is there a proof that he’s paid, maybe he just wants attention. C’mon he’s waiting for ipad and iphone, he really needs attention badly. And really who would pay such guy to promote your product. And I don’t trust pictures coming from 2ch.

    • He might not be paid to do this, but it doesn’t help when he list his occupation as rent-a-crowd.

      “For this he became known as “Big Wave.” In fact, on his homepage he identifies himself as “Butch,” and helpfully lists his occupation as “sakura” – i.e. rent-a-crowd or shill.”

      And usually this rent-a-crowd stuff isn’t one man operation. The agency usually use several people (depending on how much people the renter want). So if there is one it’s likely that several people lined up there also being paid to do that.
      It is a common practice for this kind of event and probably every company do it. The sad part with Kinect launch is that the crowd isn’t sustainable without the paid crowd… at least that the impression I get when reading the article.

    • You know what? Fuck all those commercials, liying and frauds. Nothing ever gonna make me buy a bad product. When I invest my money into something it is always something good, and I never rely on ads to determine that.

      So, in a sense, I’m glad that MS is doing all that. That means there will at least be some people who would buy that and be dissapointed, and I can laugh at their stupidity.

      • jamesownsall says:

        What? On the hallway?

        I’m not ‘bold’ enough to plug everything out outside in the park. The point of a HOME ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM is to be able to enjoy the entertainment in the comfort of one’s own home. Going outside would defeat the purpose of the console’s existence in the first place.

    • What kind of wanna be journalism site takes horrible pictures that can be taken at any time and calls them anything other than garbage. The photos don’t show us anything. OMG theres no line. when were they taken morons!

    • This is just annoying….

      I love how all the authors on this site bash Microsoft for something a GUY is doing. Has ANYONE ever heard of lieing?? Or is there a possibility that this guy WANTED all these products so he stood inline for them?

      I absolutely love how the writers of this site wont waste a minute to write something bad about microsoft products, but if there is something that sony does wrong; case and point: getting rid of linux support they wait about a month AFTER it’s news to report how stupid Sony is for doing it.

      Ooohhh Well…. I guess I’ll just have to go to an un-bias news site from now on.

      • It says that he is an extra/shill for hire in his occupation status. His being paid to be the first costumer is as plausible as him actually wanting to be first. Also, almost all journalism is biased because it’s pretty damn hard for human beings to be completely objective. You KNOW that Sankaku Complex is basically a tabloid magazine of course there’s bias. It seems that the bias is only a problem when Sankaku Complex writes something against Microsofot

      • actually this site writters are always talking about gamming companies
        BUT MS makes ALOT more shitty mistakes than most of the lot
        which for me its funny, i have both consoles (360 n Ps3) and i know how bad the 360 and its products are

        • Your PS3 will over heat. Infact, my launch 60GB is currently suffering from it’s second YLOD. 🙁

          I own all the consoles too, PSP included, but my preference is with the 360. I just enjoy it more. I prefer Live over PSN and like the 360 controller better too. Other than that, who cares, as the games are more or less the same.

        • Except that it display good backwards compatibility. The games aren’t exclusively for motion controller and many allow you to switch back. You may consider it as something of little merit but the system does not force you to use it exclusively. If it did, the novelty factor would have dominated the unit as a whole.

          By your argument as well, then what the PS3 and 360 have done here have also done redundant things since the novelty in the systems here will have no particular advantage other than as you so aptly put it “swinging” and “waggling” which has the added disadvantage of being a stale jump onto the motion control bandwagon. At the very least, Playstation made it cheaper to get the Move than the 360 (Kinect costs almost as much as its own unit and has bad performance). But in both cases, it still is very late.

        • While I get your point that Wii was the 1st to implement motion controls successfully as a main feature in a videogame console, most games don’t fully utilize the motion controls to it’s fullest anyway.

          The only games that do are:
          1. Party games and sports games
          2. Shooters, solely for aiming, remember this was already present on the NES and nearly every console after that. The only new feature is probably being able to move around using the nunchuck analog stick, but that’s not motion controls now, is it?

          and maybe… racing games to some extent for steering…

          That’s not much, is it? Most games only use the motion controls as nothing but a gameplay feature, like swinging it to attack (major) or waggling it to do something (minor). I don’t think this qualifies as a new gameplay type, as you called it. More like a new way of playing games, which, in reality, isn’t as fun as it’s thought to be.

          I apologize if I doubleposted.

        • While I get your point that Wii was the 1st to implement motion controls successfully as a main feature in a videogame console, most games don’t fully utilize the motion controls to it’s fullest anyway.

          The only games that do are:
          1. Party games and sports games
          2. Shooters, solely for aiming, remember this was already present on the NES and nearly every console after that. The only new feature is probably being able to move around using the nunchuck analog stick, but that’s not motion controls now, is it?

          and maybe… racing games to some extent for steering…

          That’s not much, is it? Most games only use the motion controls as nothing but a gameplay feature, like swinging it to attack (major) or waggling it to do something (minor). I don’t think this qualifies as a new gameplay type, as you called it. More like a new way of playing games, which, in reality, isn’t as fun as it’s thought to be.

        • And yet the market is designed so that whoever did it first has the advantage of selling the most.

          The PS3 and XBOX 360 compete for the niche that Nintendo did not aim for which warrants their price tag and as a result, they end up having essentially the same roster of games. One of the reasons why they failed was because they did nothing to introduce a new form of gameplay which was what made the Wii so advantageous. Graphics engines are not as important to implement because it can be done fairly easily. The fact that the PS3 and 360 are attempting to jump on the motion controller bandwagon now only shows that it is a bit too little too late. PS3 may have a decent medium but the Wii will still get the followups for most motion controller games while the Kinect will fare even worse.

          And to note, the Wii did not just outsell the PS3 and 360 by a small margin. It outsold all those consoles combined and more. On the other hand, the only reason the 360 garnered those sales was because it was the first next-gen console to come out so it had a slight advantage in the market. But on even footing, it has already been shown that it is losing out.

        • The reason it sells so well is the trust Nintendo has earned over the long years of their presence on the console market and the fact that parents only pay attention to advertisements and ‘family-friendliness’ of a console (so logically they buy a Wii instead of another console as a gift for their kid).

          To tell you the truth, I own all of current consoles, PSP excluded, 360 and the Wii collect the most dust right now as I have no use for them. PS3 games library is near-equal to 360’s and you know for sure it won’t go and overheat randomly.
          What good games does your Wii have aside from Nintendo games? You could count the really good ones on the fingers of your both hands, since (let’s be honest), the best games on the Wii are made by Nintendo themselves, the rest is poor, with the exception of gems like No More Heroes (Ookami doesn’t count as it’s a remake). Virtual Console is also the aspect that saves the Wii from complete neglect, since most Nintendo customers are nostalgic fans of the old times.

          I don’t like how you assumed that I’m a PS3 fanboy, no I’m not. If I were, I wouldn’t have bought the other consoles available. Since I played all of them, I have the right to prefer one to the other. Right now it seems to me that, out of the current gen, you only own a Wii and go around saying it’s superior to all the others in terms of everything but the graphics.

          Lastly, sales don’t necessarily determine the quality of a product. Remember PS3 sold really badly at 1st, topped by Wii and the 360.
          360 sold better than the PS3, does that mean it was better? No, it had the tendency to break, scratch disks beyond repair and overheat. People who bought it only wanted Halo or were unaware of the console’s problems, like having it melt in front of them. It’s the same with the Wii, most customers either care for the Nintendo remakes or are convinced that it’s a perfect family gaming system which will keep everyone entertained for hours. Sure, it can, but once the novelty of motion controls wears off it’s nothing but a PS2-class gaming console with motion controls and poorer games library.
          One more thing, I prefer the DS to the PS3, and my PS2 to the DS.

        • More out of it? Like, how?

          Last time I checked, both Wii and the PS3 can play games. Have motion controls. Internet access. Ability to play videos (limited on the wii) and so on…

          The argument about PS3 having no games is old and stupid. I’d wager 75% of Wii’s library is nothing but crappy shovelware.

          You’re just trying to justify your purchase of a toy console that does everything the other consoles can do, minus HD and without all the cool games (and I don’t mean halo or black ops) other consoles are getting.

        • Capital, and yet for the most part, the sales of the PS3 and its games are nowhere near the level that Nintendo has reached. Despite its graphical capabilities it has not succeeded in the game market as Nintendo has. The innovation of the motion control for PS3 was something, but it came far too late to make as much of an impact as Nintendo already had.

          The age when graphical capabilities actually mattered was mostly in the previous generation when the Playstation 2 reigned supreme. Now? It still is a powerful unit. But the Wii pretty much hit the important parts first. The only thing that it had to say for itself was graphical capability. Everything else still came far later than what the Wii already accomplished. Game library? Suffice to say, even if the Wii has a large amount of shovelware, the PS3’s library primarily consists of run of the mill games from the same company over and over again. The last I also checked, your beloved system also has its share of shovelware as well.

          Right about now, the only thing to really look forward to is Marvel vs Capcom 3.

        • Which shows how much of an elitist you are. There is gaming beyond the simple concepts of graphical engines. Yeah sure, you can make your PS3 and Xbox 360 games shine. But people aren’t buying those systems. They are buying a Wii. Why? Because they are getting more out of it than a PS3.

          So while you can rave all you want about the “superiority” of those systems, Nintendo still remains one of the most trusted companies in gaming since they actually produce results. And by the way, a “family” system sells much better than a machine that overclocks the graphics just so that you can play an FPS. How many games are showing up on the system again?

        • Really? How is that HD Wii doing. Or how about the cell processor? That really revolutionized gaming. And that Blu-rays man, that blu-rays. Without it, we… umm… Yeah. You would have to change the DVD, but you’d still have 10 gigs of disk space left.

          You’re talking out your ass, my friend.

      • jamesownsall says:

        Unbiased news site?

        Good luck trying. You’ll need it.

        People say that there is no true black or white in life. At the same time, there is no such thing as a person with true middle ground. Bias is part of human nature. Even experienced judges have them, though they vary from person to person.

        • only thing the wii has going for it is the large library. i cant find any other reason to play mine.

          ps3 and xbox, has a more social network, so i can go online, say wattup to friends and face em in something. friends codes is fail, the many children that play online is fail, the lack of HD is fail, being forced to buy wii motion plus is fail, the fact that dev use that system as a cheap way to make games is fail, the fact that i cant watch dvd’s is fail, the fact the people talk so highly of the system yet they still play xbox and ps3 more is fail. i could go on. the list is endless.

          the wii had its moments. ill admit, i still miss that oldschool, no ripoff, no payoff, no dlc gaming.
          xbox fucked up wat was cool about systems like ps2 and n64

        • only thing wii has going for it is the large library. i cant find any other reason to play mine.

          ps3 and xbox, has a more social network, so i can go online, say wattup to friends and face em in something. friends codes is fail, the many children that play online is fail, the lack of HD is fail, being forced to buy wii motion plus is fail, the fact that dev use that system as a cheap way to make games is fail, the fact that i cant watch dvd’s is fail, the fact the people talk so highly of the system yet they still play xbox and ps3 more is fail. i could go on. the list is endless.

          the wii had its moments. ill admit, i still miss that oldschool, no ripoff, no dlc gaming.
          xbox fucked up wat was cool about systems like ps2 and n64