[caption id="attachment_629" align="alignright" width="410" caption="Microsoft Kinect"]Kinect[/caption]

Microsoft’s Kinect, an extension for Xbox 360 gaming consoles that brings games to life by body movement, needing no controllers, wires or gadgets, just announced that it has sold more than one million units during the first 10 days of its release. This absolutely blows away its competition, the Sony Move for PlayStation3, which hasn’t sold a million units yet, and it has been on the market since September.

So what makes the Kinect such a hot commodity? It may have something to its futuristic capabilities to translate one’s body movements, even the sound of your voice, into digital movements. Want to drive a race car? Just grab an imaginary steering wheel and go for it. It’s the new wave of full body gaming, and it may charge in a new era of integrating gaming consoles into a majority of people’s households.

Of course, some of the Kinect’s fandom may be due to Oprah publicly embracing it on her show in October. Oprah, along with a few of her audience members, danced away to the Dance Central game on-air. And many of the technologically-enhanced gamers out there are already finding ways to stretch its open-source limits in the worlds of virtual reality (VR) and 3D video effects.

With Black Friday not even here yet, Microsoft is estimating that it will sale at least another million units before Christmas. A word to the wise, though, is that there is some degree of safe use needing to be stressed, as there have been a few cases (and tons of YouTube videos) of users bumping into one another and household objects while throwing themselves into a game.

Priced off-the-shelf at $150 per unit, with games running just under $50, Microsoft is making a concerted effort to push the envelope of holiday sales. The company has set aside $500 million to advertise the Kinect and its games (currently, the top-selling Kinect game is Kinect Sports. The second is Oprah’s pick, Dance Central).

Of course, users must already have an Xbox 360, but there will be an entirely new sect of consumers who will spring for the whole package because the Kinect has tipped the scales in Microsoft’s favor, perhaps beating out the Nintendo Wii or Sony PS3 this holiday shopping season, but only time will tell.

*Photo courtesy Xbox.com