By Chris Morris
October 24, 2011
"The introduction of the Kinect For Kids initiative certainly sounds wise, given the company's push in that direction. After all, who can argue with creating family-friendly titles with some of the biggest names in family entertainment?
The problem is: When you look at Microsoft's longer-term goals, things become a bit squishier.
While the company would never come out and say it directly, this push for the toddler and elementary school gamer is as much about making hay today (as the Xbox 360 hits price points that are affordable for the mainstream audience) as it is about setting up future generations of players.
Basic advertising theory holds that brand loyalties run deep when they're formed at an early age. It's why geezers like me argue the merits of King Vitamin and Boo Berry breakfast cereal vs. today's Honey Kix and Banana Nut Cheerios. And it's the crux of the never-ending debate over whether the Nintendo Entertainment System or PlayStation 2 was the "best console of all time".
By offering games from Sesame Street, Pixar and other companies, Microsoft wants kids to get used to playing with Kinect - and develop a devoted attachment to the Xbox brand.
That might sound a little sinister, but it's pretty standard practice in both the business and gaming worlds. (Let's face it: The Game Boy was one of the more obvious gateway drugs to hit store shelves in the last quarter century.)..."