Is the lack of Kinect review opportunities a red flag?

3 min read

There are some stories doing the rounds at the moment about how Microsoft are manipulating the marketing and publicity of Kinect and basically how this is a red flag for the device.

There are 2 aspects to this with the first being the claim that Microsoft ordered a take down notice to Destructoid to remove some Kinect video’s after they mocked them.

Microsoft has no right to try force Destructoid to take down an article mocking Kinect and you would think they would know by now that attempting to do so just makes everything worse. I severely doubt the Kinect target market reads Destructoid but now since so many sites are linking to this story, they may well have a bigger say in the release than they ever would have.

The entire argument seems to be around the fact that Destructoid ripped the YouTube videos into their own format which means that Microsoft legally can complain about a copyright infringement but really shouldn’t have.

On the second major aspect, the fact that Microsoft are not sending out units to gaming sites for review and the review embargo is set for the release date, this isn’t anything new in the industry and can mean one of three things.

Either that they have no faith in the product and are planning on selling it purely on the back of marketing


They don’t feel that gaming sites are the appropriate  channel to market the device


They want full control of the marketing machine and would rather manage it all themselves.

All three are true in some aspect but if Microsoft had no faith in their product then you wouldn’t be seeing it in road shows, public events or any number of TV shows and schools that we have already seen it in.

I don’t think that Microsoft do think that gaming sites are the best channel for marketing Kinect as can be seen from reading any comments section on any gaming site, gamers want to know how Kinect is going to make their games even better and the fact that it isn’t doesn’t sit well with them.

In closing, Kinect isn’t the first title or device to have release day embargoes. This happens pretty often and while it is worrying it isn’t necessarily a sign that the device will fail but rather a sign that Microsoft are dominating the marketing machine while they can.

If you are worried about Kinect then I recommend simply not buying one on the release date and waiting for the reviews that will appear in the days following the launch. That’s when Microsoft loses all control of the marketing machine and the truth will be revealed.

Last Updated: October 22, 2010

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