As the Product Planner for both the Xbox 360 Kinect (originally called Project Natal) and the complete redesign of the Xbox 360, I was thrilled to read the latest news about these two amazing products:
1) Kinect sets the Guinness World Record for the fastest selling consumer electronics device in history, selling 8 million units in its first 60 days and over 10 million units to date, beating out Apple’s iPhone and iPad (read the source material directly from Guinness World Records here and The Hollywood Reporter here).
2) Xbox 360 has its biggest non-holiday month ever in February 2011, up 27% from last year, ahead of both Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3 (read the source material from cnet News here and from Joystiq here).
As a business case study for New Product Development and Product Management, this is a great example of the results achievable when two things happen. First, the overall Corporate Strategy, in this case, to broaden the appeal of interactive entertainment, drove the Product Strategy. Second, aligning all of the internal resources to execute on the Product Strategy to create a holistic and compelling consumer experience (in this case, the hardware, the games, the user interface, and the services all align to bring together the “magic” that is Kinect). A great piece that captures this is available from Wired Magazine’s article – Kinect for Xbox 360: The inside story of Microsoft’s secret ‘Project Natal’.
To further share this story, I’ve organized an event entitled “Microsoft Presents: The Engineering Behind Kinect and the New Xbox 360” scheduled for this Wednesday, March 16, 2011. Full details are available at the registration link (http://kinect-shpe.eventbrite.com/). The General Managers for both the Xbox Hardware Division and the NUI (Natural User Interface) HW team will be presenting the technical development of these products to local engineering students and members of professional organizations in the Puget Sound, including:
- ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)
- SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers)
- SWE (Society of Women Engineers)
- NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers)
- CIE (Chinese Institute of Engineers)
- NSHMBA (National Society of Hispanic MBAs)
Congratulations to the full team on the success of both Kinect and the new Xbox 360! It’s been an honor to work with a great team of outstanding individuals to develop these products that are being enthusiastically embraced by millions of happy consumers around the world.