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Microsoft Corp. said in an interview on Wednesday that the company plans to sell even more Xbox 360 game systems next year compared to its results in 2007. The software giant also reassured that there are no plans to dedicate its efforts to popularize the Xbox 360 to a single market and will compete fiercely worldwide.
“We will sell more consoles next year than this year. We don’t want to trade places with anybody,” Jeff Bell, the head of global marketing for Microsoft’s games business, told Reuters news-agency in an interview.
So far Microsoft has sold 15.06 million Xbox 360 game systems to end-users, considerably less compared to Nintendo Wii’s 16.97 million, according to VG Chartz. The latest game machine from Microsoft sells relatively well in the USA and constantly leaves behind its main rival, Sony PlayStation 3, which has life-to-date sales of 7.75 million worldwide; but in Japan the PS3 outsells the X360 by roughly 200% and in other regions, such as Europe and Australia, Sony’s latest game system is chasing Microsoft in life-to-date sales quite seriously.
While Japan has some specific preferences for game titles and Microsoft needs to hire local game developers to create exclusive titles in order to push the console, European preferences for games are generally similar to those of the U.S. gamers. But a tough problem to address for Microsoft in the region is the strength of Sony’s brand-name.
“Europe for us is still the swing. The biggest challenge is that Sony as a brand has had greater staying power [in Europe] than in other areas. Not just PlayStation 3, but Sony as a brand,” said Mr. Bell.
The head of global market for Microsoft’s gaming business did not unveil how Microsoft plans to boost its sales in Europe in 2008, when pricing disparity between Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 erodes and more games for the latter will be available. Still, Mr. Bell noted that the Xbox 360 was strong in Britain and was gaining market share in France and Germany.