Last month, Microsoft upped its estimates for its Kinect motion-sensing camera peripheral, saying it expected the add-on to build an installed base of 5 million by the end of the year. Analyst firm Screen Digest believes Microsoft will ride that momentum in 2011, naming the Kinect one of a handful of top tech stories it expects to cast a large shadow in 2011.
While Sony's motion-sensing Move controller launched months earlier than Kinect, Screen Digest believes Microsoft's add-on will be able to overtake its counterpart by the end of next year. Through 2011, the firm predicted a worldwide Kinect installed base of 7.6 million, just edging out a 7.3 million Move-enabled PlayStation 3 user base.
Another of Sony's initiatives made the Screen Digest report, though probably not in the way the electronics giant would have wanted. The firm doesn't expect 3D TV sales to catch on next year, even though the sets have been introduced in essentially every major market around the globe.
The firm suggested current 3D broadcasters place too much of an emphasis on live sporting events and non-recurring programming, and that the glasses required of current 3D TVs will serve as a deterrent. As for glasses-free 3D TVs (or “auto-stereoscopic” sets), Screen Digest doesn't expect those to become mass market options for another decade.
Another trend that might not have a near-term impact on the industry is streaming games-on-demand services like OnLive and Gaikai. Such services provide a poor value proposition at the moment, the firm believes, and might not take off until they focus more on the TV and console market than PCs.