When Microsoft Xbox stated its intention at the E3 2009 conference to change gaming as we know it and launch the world’s first controller free gaming system, Project Natal was met with extreme anticipation. There were YouTube videos. There were blogs from rabid fans, industry insiders, and the broader community. And there were countless tweets. “Blown away by Xbox Project Natal.” “Back to the Future is here.” “This looks so awesome, how is anyone going to
We knew the challenge was on us to meet the most breakthrough product in gaming with an equally breakthrough name.
When we first started analyzing the hype around Natal, we saw much of the conversation was not about Xbox but its competitors. To change that conversation, we believed the brand would have to deliver a completely different experience with a name that strongly reinforced that difference.
Unlike other devices, which focus on bringing people together in the living room, Natal could be about bringing the individual into the game. Unleashed from the remote and any reminders of the physical world, it should help people see themselves not as they are – but how they can be.
We chose the name Kinect for its ability to communicate this. Simple, playful and evocative, Kinect is about connection and movement. It gets to the heart of what makes the device so game changing: its ability to let anybody get in and play without the barrier of a set of complicated controls.
So far, Kinect is connecting well with customers. The device saw pre-order sellouts in the U.K. and U.S. and Microsoft’s official launch event on November 4, 2010 in Times Square was packed.