Microsoft also revealed a new experience called Avatar Kinect, which brings a player's avatar to life by using facial recognition technology to let a person not only control their avatar's movements but also their expressions: when they smile, frown, nod, and speak, the avatar will do the same.
Furthermore, Xbox Live Gold subscribers will soon be able to use Kinect to control their Netflix and Hulu experiences come this spring. Hulu Plus will come to Xbox Live, as will an update to Netflix, allowing users to pause, rewind, and fast-forward their streaming movies with only their voice or gestures.
Two months ago, Microsoft shared that the Kinect had sold 1 million units in 10 days. Later, the company revealed it had sold 2.5 million units in 25 days. The 8 million number shows that sales greatly accelerated during the holiday season. Sales even beat Microsoft's original expectation of selling 5 million units by the end of 2010.
"We beat that forecast," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement. "This has been the biggest holiday and the biggest year ever for Xbox. You're going to continue to see more fun, more entertainment, and more innovation from our Xbox team in 2011. Xbox today is going where no gaming system has ever gone. Your Xbox is becoming the hub of your living room. It is your gaming system, but it's your movies, it's your TV shows, and it's your sporting events. It's your social interactions, all delivered directly to the biggest screen in your house."