Home Gaming Is the lack of Kinect review opportunities a red flag?

Is the lack of Kinect review opportunities a red flag?

2 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


  1. ALKi

    October 22, 2010 at 08:52

    i just can’t wait for u guys to review the kinect……just can’t wait!


  2. WeRRieS ZA

    October 22, 2010 at 08:55

    They got Bieber and that Seacrest dude…don’t need no one else for reviews! Anything Bieber buys, the crazy kids in US will buy!


  3. easy

    October 22, 2010 at 08:56

    with ms stating that a lot is riding on the success of kinect, it does seem a bit odd to not garner the support of mainstream gaming media.
    they treading on thin ice in terms or product pr, but i’m sure they know what they doing… well almost sure.


  4. Fox1

    October 22, 2010 at 09:00

    If you are a gamer then you should have already made up your mind on Kinect by now. Did people wait for iPad reviews to buy it on day 1? You see, you like…you buy. That’s the Kinect market.

    Also gaming sites tend to push their weight around too much over certain market trending items and then use ridiculous analogies to justify dislike for a product in turn only justifying wanting a number of hits by jumping on the bandwagon.

    There’s plenty of articles about Kinect, Move, Wii, iPad, GT5 and Fable 3 that have a negative headings only to have the writer babble about something unrelated just to put a story together.


  5. easy

    October 22, 2010 at 09:11

    but you forgetting who ms wants to sell kinect to. the primary objective is traditionally non-gamers, they make up a far bigger market than gamers.
    ms are trying to go into uncharted waters while riding on the back of the wii’s insane uptake.
    although nintendo were more relaxed and open… whatever happens it will be very interesting to see which approach works the best. not long to wait


  6. Gavin Mannion

    October 22, 2010 at 09:35

    Yes but Nintendo got horribly burnt by the gaming media, pretty much all the big sites panned the Wii while scoffing that it will never work.

    The problem with gaming writers is they sometimes fail to see there is a bigger market out there rather than just your hardcore gamers.

    I think Microsoft may be trying to delay the obvious complaints they know they are going to receive from the hardcore sites.


  7. Luna

    October 22, 2010 at 10:43

    I think it’s the reviews from the hardcore gaming sites that is their biggest worry as well. I also think it’s a bit of over control, because they have the money to back up whatever they want.

    It’s fantastic technology, but it’s also got very little for the core gamer beyond cool tech. I hope to be proven wrong, but I won’t be able to get one for a while anyhow.


  8. StigSmash

    October 22, 2010 at 10:50

    I hope the review includes videos 😀


  9. Bobby Kotick for Dummies

    October 22, 2010 at 11:25

    Not necessarily, since publishers generally want to protect their IPs and crucially maximise profits. Medal of Honor is a good example of how early bad reports can actually harm a franchise. It did get a lot of people talking about the game, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. MoH has still done very well, but the reviews on it hasn’t been very good, with most reviewers either comparing it to CoD or moaning on about the taliban.


    It is a worrying sign when companies go on the offensive and try to squash negative opinion with their lawyers (as in the Destructoid/Microsoft case). I’m not a huge fan of Destructiod, but Microsoft’s heavy handed approach is worrying.


  10. DrXym

    October 25, 2010 at 09:22

    I think it’s fairly clear where this all coming from. Existing 360 owners are going to be fairly well informed about things and mostly they’ll be older kids and predominantly male. If reviews came out early (showing that Kinect sucks) they’d be telling their wives / girlfriends / kids and deflating all the hype MS are trying to build up.

    So MS are suppressing critical thought on the one hand and building up this “lifestyle” image (notice the ads don’t even show much of the games) on the other. They’re trying to drown out reality and hope they can wing it. So yes I think Kinect will blow hard. I’ve seen enough roadshow footage to know what to expect, but it will still sell very well at least to start. After Christmas I think it will tank unless MS produce a decent must-have title.


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