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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Microsoft predicts strong Xbox 360 sales

Microsoft predicts strong Xbox 360 sales

"Up to 3 million game consoles in the first 90 days, executive says

Microsoft Corp. expects to sell as many as 3 million Xbox 360 consoles in the first three months after launching the newest version of its video game machine, the financial chief of the giant software company’s Xbox business said Tuesday.

The sales target of 2.75 million to 3 million Xbox 360 units in the first 90 days after the launch date of Nov. 22 was outlined by Xbox Chief Financial Officer Bryan Lee at an investors’ conference in New York. That target comes nearly two weeks after Microsoft cautioned that initial Xbox sales might not be as high as some in the gaming industry have expected. (MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

Lee also said that sales of the new consoles, games, peripherals and online gaming subscriptions should total about $1.5 billion in the same period,

The figures are “a good signal about the overall health of the business,” Lee said in an interview ahead of a presentation at the Harris Nesbitt Media & Entertainment Conference.

The interim sales target indicates that Microsoft is expecting strong sales, despite trying to play down industry expectations at its Oct. 27 earnings announcement.

The 90-day sales target totals more than half of Microsoft’s target of selling between 4.5 and 5.5 million Xbox 360 consoles by the end of the current business year to June 2006.

Lee declined to say how many consoles would be on retailers’ shelves on Nov. 22 when the Xbox 360 launches, saying that Microsoft would have enough machines for a solid release and steady supply thereafter.

Microsoft has contracted with three electronics manufacturers to build the Xbox 360: Flextronics International Ltd.Wistron Inc.and Celestica Inc.The Celestica plant is expected to come online in early 2006." [more]

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