Macy’s to Offer Back to School Demos of New Xbox Interface

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Macy's to Offer Back to School Demos of New Xbox Interface

New York—Gamers are fair game for retailers who are looking to increase traffic for back-to-school shopping. And Macy’s is giving them a reason to stop in 13 of its stores nationwide.

Starting July 15, Macy’s is offering in-store demos of Microsoft’s Kinect, the new motion- and voice-sensor interface for Xbox, a preview usually only granted to aficionados who can get to Microsoft’s three West Coast stores.

Twitter and gamer websites are already abuzz about the previews.

Macy’s has set up demo stations in the 13 stores where gamers can tryout the devices first hand at one of the store’s Mstyle lab “lounges.” And Macy’s doesn’t even sell Xboxes or the new Kinect video game controlling system.

It’s all part of a part of an aggressive back-to-school program, including new fashion collections (like Material Girl) designed to position the department store chain as a shopping destination for tweens, teens and college coeds.

New Microsite Hosts Contest

The company will also give away 30 Kinect interfaces from August 12 to September 10 through a contest on its soon-to-be-launched microsite, Mstylelab.

The site will host fashion videos with the latest trends, “word on the street” content featuring Seventeen editor Anne Shoket, plus a ‘post your pics’ channel where users can upload images of themselves to show off what fashionable to others across the country.

Gamer websites hail the Macy’s demos as a good move, since undoubtedly moms—the ones who pay for the games—will also more likely be in the stores. “Just hope they don’t put the demos near the little kids department,” one gamer blogger lamented upon hearing the news.

The new Kinect, which will be released this fall for $149.99 retail, is a big deal, too. Sandeep Aggarwal, analyst at Caris & Co., reported that Kinect could generate $900 million in revenue in the first year with an estimated 15 to 20% of some 40 million Xbox 360s users buying the system.

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