updated 07:45 am EDT, Fri June 11, 2010
MS has high hopes for Natal controller
Microsoft hopes to sell "at least" five million Project Natal controllers this year, two insiders said late Thursday [subscription required]. The sources didn't provide the exact launch date or price but implied to the WSJ that the target was aggressive, as the motion controllers would only ship late in the year. Microsoft has publicly touted Natal as one of its most important launches.
Production is important enough that Foxconn and Flextronics, both of whom are making the Natal hardware, are rumored to start shipments as early as August. Earlier tips have put the Xbox 360 add-on in October. Mass production wouldn't start in earnest until 2011, however.
Project Natal may be crucial to Microsoft's holiday sales, as the company is about to compete head-to-head with PlayStation Move on the PS3. Both are designed as reactions to the Nintendo Wii, which to this day still usually outsells both its Microsoft and Sony rivals.