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Kinect to be cash cow for Microsoft, analyst says

When Microsoft's motion-gaming device hits store shelves later this year, one analyst says, it will be the start of something great for the software giant.

Microsoft Kinect
Can Kinect generate billions? Microsoft

Microsoft's Kinect motion-gaming device could generate $1 billion for the company in just its first year, an analyst said in a research note.

Sandeep Aggarwal of Caris & Co. wrote Monday that Kinect could help the industrywide gaming market generate $2 billion in its first year, with Microsoft itself snagging at least half the money.

How Aggarwal calculated revenue generation is significant. He did not focus solely on the device, which is expected to sell for $149 when it launches later this year. He included all related revenue for the overall gaming industry, including sales of individual games.

Aggarwal said he believes that 15 percent to 25 percent of current Xbox 360 owners will buy the Kinect within its first year, potentially helping Microsoft generate $900 million in extra hardware revenue. Aggarwal also said he believes that Microsoft will increase its overall hardware market share, helping it to generate an additional $300 million on the sale of 1 million Xbox 360 units to customers who didn't originally buy Microsoft's console, but want Kinect.

And thanks to Kinect, Aggarwal said he believes consumers will see a higher value in Microsoft's console. That, in turn, could help the company increase subscribers on its Xbox Live service.

But Microsoft wouldn't be the only company to benefit. Because third-party developers appear to be keen on creating games for the new platform, Aggarwal said, they could stand to gain quite a bit from the sale of their titles.

Whether Microsoft will actually generate that kind of revenue remains to be seen. Aggarwal's estimates are based on his view of the market. It's all up to consumers now.

(Via Barron's)