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Microsoft’s XBox 360 finally claimed the top sales spot for August, and now the company has high hopes for its Kinect motion-sensing controller for the console. It’s estimating it will sell 3 million Kinect controllers by the end of this year.

Microsoft’s top video game executive Don Mattrick said he expects Kinect to provide Microsoft with one of the “biggest holidays ever” for sales, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Motion gaming is the flavor of the holiday season in 2011. Sony will get a bit of a jump on Microsoft by releasing its Playstation Move motion controller in the immediate future. Sony also earlier today said it expects to sell around 15 million Playstation 3 units by the end of its fiscal year in March 2011.

Both Microsoft and Sony seem to be making rather bold claims as the oft-called “recession-proof” video game market shows signs of weakening, with sales in August down about 10 percent, largely a result of weakening portable hardware sales.

But despite an otherwise gloomy outlook, gamers and developers may have a lot to look forward to in the coming months if the strong initial showing by Halo: Reach is anything to go by. The game kicked off the holiday sales season with a unprecedented sales, racking up $200 million in about 24 hours and blowing the previous Halo sales records out of the water. The newest Halo’s sales, however, did not match the previous record of around $300 million in one day for Activision-Blizzard’s Modern Warfare 2 title.

On top of Halo: Reach, several other Triple-A titles — like Call of Duty: Black Ops, Medal of Honor, Fallout: New Vegas, Rock Band 3 and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 — are on deck and look like they could make quite a splash for the traditional controller. Launch titles for Kinect include a variety of activity-heavy games like Dance Central and EA Sports Active.

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