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Microsoft and 3rd Parties Promote Kinect

SKE48 members feature in promotional push for hands free controller.

SKE48 members Rena Matsui and Jurina Matsui are central to Microsoft's Kinect campaign.

Microsoft's promotional push for Kinect has kicked into high gear ahead of the device's November 20 release date. Recently, the company opened up a Kinect information site and also etailed a purchase campaign. All of this is, of course, themed around SKE48's Rena Matsui and Jurina Matsui.

As detailed last month, Rena and Jurina have been tapped to form a special subunit called "Team Kinect." The two have been featuring in Kinect commercials since last month.

You can see the first two Kinect spots here. The theme of the spots appears to lie in a comment from the announcer: "Controllers are removed from games. What will happen to games, and to humanity?"

On the 6th, Microsoft began airing the third Team Kinect commercial. This one features SKE48's upcoming single "1, 2, 3, 4, Yoroshiku" (pronounced "One, Two, Three, Four, Yoroshiku"), which is due for release on November 17.

You can view commercials and other promotional videos for Kinect at a promotional site Microsoft has set up. The site also serves as a FAQ about the device, offering the assurance that it can be used in small spaces.

The connection with SKE48 goes beyond the commercials and promotional site. Microsoft is holding a launch campaign for Kinect. Buyers of Kinect or its two Xbox 360 hardware bundles can enter into a drawing for 100 pairs of tickets to an upcoming SKE48 concert and 100 "Kinect Love" t-shirts featuring Team Kinect. The registration period will run from 11/20 to 11/22. Visit the special campaign site for further details.

Microsoft is also making a retail push. As reported at ITmedia, Microsoft has been refreshing the Xbox sales corners at 5,500 shops throughout the nation since October. Since the start of this month, 100 shops feature Kinect demo units, with 50 having special staff to explain the device to patrons. Microsoft and retailers will be teaming up for Kinect demo events to be held mostly on weekends. For further event details, visit Microsoft's Kinect event page.

Third parties are also getting in on the act. Sega is holding a demo event and tournament for Sonic Free Riders at its Joypolis amusement facility. Konami is holding a DanceEvolution demo event featuring an appearance by music producer Naoki Maeda.

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