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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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RE: Yeah right
By afkrotch on 5/23/2008 1:22:46 PM , Rating: 3
Who would you call the leader? The one making the most money. Right now that is Nintendo.

Right now, I don't call any of them the leader. It's way to early to declare anyone a winner. The leader is the one to garner the most 3rd party support.

There is no game you can release on the PS3 or XBox that you cannot also release on the Wii if you are willing to scale down the resolution; unfortunately the reverse is not true if you rely on the Wii-mote. You cannot release any Wii-specific games without also releasing a new controller for the XBox 360 or PS3.

GTAIV is a good example of a game that would have to be completely recreated for the Wii, much like all the latest games to grace the 360 and PS3.

With majority of games, they are going for higher graphics. Do you think Crysis, R6 Vegas 2, etc are going to be remade to work on a Geforce 4? Geforce FX? Doubt they will, but that's what you think devs are going to do for the Wii? The thing is essentially running on Gamecube hardware that's been clocked slightly higher. Overclock a Gamecube and you have the Wii hardware.

How many different controllers have you seen released for various consoles? The PS2 probably had the widest variety of controllers out of every single console made. They simply threw the controller in with the game.

If they wanted to port Wii games that required a speciality controller, they'd do it. As of right now, the PS3 has a two types of regular controllers, a remote, guitar, drums, microphone, gun, steering wheel, video cam, standard usb keyboard, standard usb mouse, and who knows what else will show up. Not to mention the multitude of 3rd party hardware to allow the use of PS2 controllers on the PS3.

Either way, if you're gonna waste the time to rewrite a 360/PS3 game for the Wii, why couldn't they waste their time doing it for a Wii game to the 360/PS3?

RE: Yeah right
By Alexstarfire on 5/24/2008 9:04:30 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you know something that I don't, but I doubt it'd have to be "recreated" to be on the Wii. Of course, that depends on what you mean by "recreate." If you mean by having to rewrite code.... then DUH. You'd have to do that to port it to any system, including the PC, since none of them have the same hardware. Naturally they'd have to modify the controls, but that can easily be done. Space constrains? Obviously non-existent if it's on the 360 since it and the Wii use DVDs.

In short nothing has changed when it comes to porting games. It's going to be just as hard to convert a 360 game to PS3 as it would the Wii, and likewise convert a Wii game to the 360 or PS3.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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