Microsoft says it fully expects to shift even more Xbox 360 consoles in 2008 than it did in 2007. Microsoft's king of spin, Jeff Bell, says plans are in place to ensure the Xbox franchise continues to do well in an ever-more competitive market.
"Europe for us is still the swing," said Bell. "The biggest challenge is that Sony as a brand has had greater staying power than in other areas. Not just PlayStation 3, but Sony as a brand. We will sell more consoles next year than this year. We don't want to trade places with anybody."
Xbox set for bumper 2008?
Bell made the comments in an interview with Reuters, and also admitted that Microsoft was probably benefiting from Nintendo's lack of Wii stock. "Sometimes you're good, sometimes you're lucky, and it's wonderful when you're both," he quipped.
Bell also believes that the Nintendo Wii bubble may burst in 2008 because its business model "is not sustainable". He says that the only successful games on the Wii are Nintendo's own titles, which means third-party publishers have not been able to cash in on the console's success.
"Clearly, we have a competitor where they win and no one else wins. That is not sustainable, it's never been sustainable," he said.
Our gaming buddies over at CVG say that despite Bell's fightin' words, it takes games to drive hardware sales. And so far there have not been too many Xbox 360-exclusive titles announced.
"Microsoft's suits seem well-briefed and confident on their 2008 plans then, which is odd because outside of an obvious few - Ninja Gaiden 2, Halo Wars - we don't really know what games they've got in the pipeline. Show us the games Microsoft - show us the games..." says CVG's Andy Robinson.
Bell concluded by saying that the key market for Microsoft in 2008 will be mainland Europe. The Xbox brand is already very popular in the UK and US, but so far some of the other big European countries have been more interested in the consoles from Sony and Nintendo.