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XBox Kinect is Key To Console's Comeback

REDMOND, Wash. ( TheStreet) -- The soon-to-be released Kinect device for the Xbox 360 isn't just a motion controller, but the latest symbol of Microsoft's (MSFT) gaming momentum.

When the Kinect motion capture device releases Nov. 4, it will be the last major Xbox release in a year the Microsoft system got back into the game. The slimmer, less expensive version of the 360 was released in June after an unveiling at the Electronics Entertainment Expo and has topped the Nintendo Wii and Sony (SNE) PlayStation 3 for the NPD Group's console sales high score each month since. Unlike previous Xbox 360 consoles, which were fraught with technical problems and kept gamers in fear the "red ring of death" would turn their Xbox into an expensive corpse, the new 360 has been devoid of such problems.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming system had a number of wins this year, and the Kinect motion capture device slated for release this month looks to be another.

"Microsoft has finally released a console that people feel safe buying," said Shane Satterfield, editor of, shortly after the new 360's release. "I think a lot of people waited until they sorted out their hardware issues and are finally jumping in."

As a result, overall Xbox sales are up 34% year-to-date and it was the only console to post September sales greater than those of a year earlier. Those sales have the Xbox dreaming of slaying a bigger boss: the Nintendo Wii and the annual sales title it's held since wresting it from the Xbox 360 in 2007.

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