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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Microsoft bullish on Xbox 360; sees PS3 in 2007

Microsoft bullish on Xbox 360; sees PS3 in 2007

"Microsoft wants Sony to feel the horns of the Xbox 360.

With the impending launch of the Xbox 360, Microsoft will bask in a media and retail spotlight all by itself this holiday season, leaving the company confident with the console's global launch plans and impending lead in three terrorities.

Neil Thompson, Senior Regional Director for Microsoft’s Home and Entertainment Division in Northern & Eastern Europe, recently told trade paper MCV that the company would be ready to compete when the Playstation 3 launches in Europe - a system he feels could be delayed to spring 2007.

"I'd be happy to compete whenever they turn up, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's not until spring '07," Thompson said. "If they hit Christmas '06 then maybe it'll be a very thin launch; a launch in name only."

Sony has kept firm on the spring 2006 release of the Playstation 3 since the company's announcement at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo. However, many analysts predict that the PS3 will follow the release schedule of previous Playstation consoles by launching only in Japan by spring, followed by the U.S. and Europe in late 2006 and early 2007.

The delay in the latter two territories would give Microsoft a year head start on sales of the Xbox 360, selling millions of units before a single PS3 console is on store shelves.

While Microsoft may nab an early lead in the next-generation console wars, research firm Piper Jaffray estimates that the PS3 will eventually outsell the Xbox 360 by 2008.

Sony has sold 100 million units of Playstation 2 hardware, followed by Microsoft's 22 million Xbox units and Nintendo's 19 million GameCube consoles." [link]

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