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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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This is laughable.
By gochichi on 5/23/2008 5:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
You can't just set arbitrary numbers like that. The Wii is "wii-ning" but I would hardly put it in the same race as the XBOX 360 and PS3. The Wii was never an ambitious project and though I own one I honestly don't consider it to be a real console (I never ever use it after I beat Mario Galaxy).

Nintendo should float on the hype everyone has built up for it and release a real console mid-cycle. I really believe that due to the relatively low price and big media buzz the Wii-2 could come out with the interesting controls and actual worthwhile hardware. But Nintendo won't because they have this unwritten rule that they must always have handicapped hardware. (First generation GameBOy Advance anyone?)

Microsoft can talk up a storm about 100 million units or whatever, but more than marketing, the XBOX 360 urgently needs a good price drop. Chop-chop-chop that price before the holidays and it won't win, but it won't loose either.

My advice is as follows:
Nintendo--> Release real hardware before MS and Sony can even start recovering their money. Ati and Nvidia have been hard at work in the last couple of years and releasing something more powerful than a PS3 at a good price point will be easy.

Sony--> Release a better controller. More importantly, put a remote control in the box of every PS3 you sell from this point forward. Slap a BLuray movie in there as well. You can try to get an extra $10 or $20 for the remote but you're just hurting your sales. Be the BLuray player that has serious gaming capabilities as a bonus. The hardware is beautiful yet bloated, sell it while you can. The time is now.

Microsoft: Price drop! Price drop! Price drop! Release a version that looks different. DIfferent as in --> This won't die on me like my old Xbox 360 did. Slap a Harddrive on every single Xbox you sell, even it its a 10 GB one just slap one on there.

THat's it. The "next-generation" consoles are yawn inducing. They were next-gen for what feels like 5-years and it's just high time they actually started selling them in numbers.

I'm yawning and maybe it's because I'm a computer gamer, but I see a lot of people that are yawning with a "what is that anyway?" MIcrosoft is always winning in my book because PC gaming is where I think its at, and they do cater their OS to the game industry. The XBOX 360 can beat the PS3, but they won't do it without differentiating their hardware price. The XBOX 360 at $199.99 with an empty harddrive case for a SATA harddrive would be just fine. I can put a 250GB hdd in there for $80.00 and that would feel good.

As it stands, $50.00 is absolutely not enough of a price difference between the 20GB XBOX 360 and the 40GB (with an inviting upgradeable HDD) PS3. The PS3 is simply too much more hardware for the $50.00. The Xbox is a simple machine, and they need to drop that price ASAP.

(Simple machine? A 8600GT = $50.00 and it can play most games at 720P like the XBOX 360. For $125.00, you can play most games at 1080P on a PC.)

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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