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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Joystiq interviews David Reid, Director of Platform Marketing for Xbox

Joystiq interviews David Reid, Director of Platform Marketing for Xbox

"Joystiq: Folks are understandably a little confused about what exactly the Xbox 360 launch lineup looks like for this holiday season. We know that the exact list is still being finalized, but can you give us a sense of how many titles are definite for Xbox 360’s Nov. 22 launch here in the US? How about the UK launch?

David Reid: You bet. First we’re thrilled to reaffirm that as we announced at E3, we’re still on path for Xbox 360 to have the greatest launch lineup in console gaming history. It will start with 15-20 titles available on launch day, which is Nov 22 in the US and Canada, and Dec 2 in Europe and will continue with a steady pipeline of great titles through the rest of 2005 and beyond into 2006.

David Reid: We confirmed from Microsoft Game Studios that Kameo, Perfect Dark Zero, and Project Gotham Racing 3 will all ship in this launch window in 2005. We also announced several new titles at X05.

Joystiq: But those titles are just that—announcements at this point and not part of the Holiday lineup, right?

David Reid: Yes—the other titles we announced from Microsoft Game Studios are on track for 2006. The new announcements include Mass Effect developed by Bioware, Too Human from Silicon Knights, and Crackdown from Real Time Worlds. Those three join Gears of War from Epic as all exclusive Microsoft Game Studios titles for Xbox 360 in 2006.

Joystiq: Got it.

Joystiq: How do you decide whether or not to include a game for launch? What’s the absolute cutoff date for inclusion in the launch window? Or (another way of asking the same question) when will we know for certain what the launch list looks like?

David Reid: Final launch list is nearly completed—we are in the final laps of certification and expect to have a definitive launch day list in the next few weeks. But we are waiting until all titles pass through certification to announce the launch day lineup.

Joystiq: Excellent — good to hear.

Joystiq: Can you characterize the strength of pre-orders for Xbox 360 to date? Strong? Within projections?

David Reid: We can’t disclose specific numbers but we are very excited with what we’re seeing so far on Xbox 360 preorders. Very much what we expected—very strong demand overall. We definitely expect to see Xbox 360 as the hottest consumer electronics product this holiday.

Joystiq: With all of the excitement surrounding the Xbox 360 launch, it’s understandable that some retailers are taking advantage of the opportunity to test the waters with mega bundles that cost $579 (Wal-Mart), $1200 (GameStop) and even $4499.68 (GameStop). Is Microsoft concerned about the level of these prices? Might sticker shock deter some gamers from next-gen gaming before they’ve really had the chance to try it?

David Reid: Actually what we’re seeing is not all that unusual for a new consumer electronics launch. Think of it as similar to what we saw with the original Xbox launch where the rabid early adopting core gamer—much like your audience at Joystiq—is ready for the ultimate gaming experience and ready to dive in.

David Reid: There will be consumers who aren’t interested in everything on day one of course and they will buy Xbox 360 at a later stage in the lifecycle—they normally aren’t folks who are lining up for a launch midnight madness event.

David Reid: On pricing: one thing to keep in mind is the consumer coming this holiday—most of them are those rabid gamers who are looking to buy the Xbox 360 with every accessory, every game and so forth—the bundles are in many ways exactly what they are looking for." [more]

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