Microsoft is closing out 2010 on a high note.
The company is on pace to hit its goal of 5 million Kinect sales, and for the past six months, Xbox 360 hardware sales in the United States continue to lead competitors Sony and Nintendo. According to research group NPD, U.S. Xbox 360 console sales have reached 4.9 million this year through November.
On the software side, Microsoft's heavy-hitter Halo: Reach flew off stores shelves this past September, selling 3.3 million copies in the Unites States alone during its launch month, making it the fastest-selling Halo game to date.
But what about 2011?
Microsoft has been pretty quiet about its plans for next year. Gears of War 3 and Forza Motorsport 4 are the only two major exclusive titles announced so far that have release windows. A plethora of 2011 Kinect-exclusive titles were also unveiled at this past year's Tokyo Game Show, such as Project Draco and Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, but we haven't seen much of anything from those.
Xbox Group Product Manager David Dennis explained to IGN in a recent interview, however, the company has even more in store for fans next year, including a variety of still-unannounced exclusive titles.
"We have other games in the pipeline, Kinect games, non-Kinect games, core and casual games, and other third-party titles," Dennis said. "We've also got some tricks up our sleeve that we haven't announced on the Xbox Live front as well. I think we certainly feel like we have the setup for great, continued momentum."
"I don't think we'd trade places with anyone at this point in time."
Microsoft's internal goal of 5 million Kinect unit sales worldwide by the end of 2010 will likely be met. In the first 25 days on sale the company sold 2.5 million Kinects. Microsoft isn't satisfied with having a stellar launch, though. Dennis said the motion camera will be a big focus for Xbox 360 going forward next year.
"Our business is about long-term sustainability of the platform. We have internal [sales] numbers that we're forecasting but haven't put anything out there yet," he added. "It's going to be central to the platform and everything we're doing in the future will be centered around Kinect," Dennis added, who quickly clarified saying he doesn't mean every core game will necessarily include Kinect features.
"We'll continue to invest in Kinect games but then also invest in the core franchises and new IP that are centered around core gaming."
Fans likely won't see or hear about Microsoft's plans for next year until the company's annual press show, which typically takes place during February of each year.