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Microsoft resets finish line to 100 million after winning the 10 million unit dash

According to the latest NPD console sales numbers, Microsoft holds the lead in terms of total current-generation console sales in the U.S. with 10 million Xbox 360 sold. Microsoft touted this number as being particularly significant as it believes the first to this milestone wins the generation overall.

“This year will be the largest in the history of the video game industry, with Xbox 360 leading the charge in the U.S. and abroad,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “History has shown us that the first company to reach 10 million in console sales wins the generation battle. We are uniquely positioned to set a new benchmark for the industry.”

More than 19 million Xbox 360 consoles have sold worldwide – a number already eclipsed by the Nintendo Wii on the global scale with 25 million total units sold. The Wii with 8.8 million in the U.S. is also rapidly gaining on Xbox 360 and is selling at a quicker pace, despite having launched a year after Microsoft’s console. The PlayStation 3 has sold 4.1 million in the U.S., with a total of more than 12 million worldwide.

One area that the Xbox 360 is the undisputed leader in is the online space, where there are currently more than 12 million Xbox Live subscribers.

“Perhaps more important is the Xbox 360 worldwide online base – 12 million Xbox Live gamers is the largest community in the connected console games sector, which represents the greatest growth opportunity in the console market and where Microsoft has been the leader for two generations,” commented Billy Pidgeon, research manager at IDC.

With the 10 million mark under its belt, Microsoft appears to now be resetting the finish line at 100 million. Microsoft Games Studios corporate VP Shane Kim said in a Wired|Game|Life interview that the console war will finally be decided “When somebody's well on their way to reaching 100 million units.”

Microsoft may have a problem reaching the 100 million mark ahead of its competitors if the Japanese market isn’t buying the Xbox 360, where the console has yet to sell 1 million units. “Well, we've always known that we weren't going to win in Japan, right?,” Kim replied. “And I think we can build a very good business, an exciting business with a pretty big installed base with success in places like North America and Europe. Even though you may not think it's big numbers, we're actually strong in Latin America as well. Canada's been a big market for us as well. So there are ways to get the scale.”

“Now, if you don't get 10 million units in Japan, can you get to 100 million units overall? I'd love to get 90 million units and have that problem. That's what we're really trying to focus on,” Kim added. “I think it's way too early to declare a winner.”

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By Funksultan on 5/22/2008 2:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
Awesome, Microsoft has become the kid who sprints off towards the ice cream truck, then when half way there turns around and calls "First one to the truck wins!".

Hardware + Software + User Acceptance = The Win. Given time, the big three will ALL sell 10mil units. It's a guarantee.

RE: Hilarious!
By Funksultan on 5/22/2008 2:28:23 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Hilarious!
By rubbahbandman on 5/22/2008 7:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
The Wii will be the only console to sell over 100 million consoles - probably 150M+ in all likelihood. The 360 is going to flounder at the 40M mark and the PS3 will probably break away from the 360 with 50M+.

RE: Hilarious!
By Sandok on 5/23/2008 4:15:08 AM , Rating: 1
You sound like an AWESOME analyst! I'll keep your numbers in mind and message you when / if your remarks come true.

RE: Hilarious!
By psychobriggsy on 5/22/2008 2:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
And whilst turning around they failed to see that the Wii had overtaken them and that some of their limbs were getting left behind.

The Dreamcast was the first in its generation to 10m. Nice machine that.

By the end of 2010 this generation will have seen some 70m Wii, and around 50m each for the 360 and PS3 I expect. So they'll all be winners. Won't that be great!

RE: Hilarious!
By afkrotch on 5/22/2008 3:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
By the end of 2010 this generation will have seen some 70m Wii, and around 50m each for the 360 and PS3 I expect. So they'll all be winners. Won't that be great!

Not really, cause you know they'll keep pushing exclusives and we'll be stuck having to buy all three or do without some games.

RE: Hilarious!
By AlphaVirus on 5/22/2008 4:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
And whilst turning around they failed to see that the Wii had overtaken them and that some of their limbs were getting left behind.

Lol, thats too funny. I just imagine that happening in real life, the kids trying to get their first by cheating but slips in the grass or runs into a pull once he turns back around.

Yep, Wii showed MS, pulling in to the market first does not always make you the winner.

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