Microsoft Sticks to Xbox 360 Shipment Forecast

Microsoft, the world’s leading producer of software and maker of the popular Xbox 360 video game console, on Tuesday restated previous estimates regarding shipments of the game system, saying it will ship some 10 million consoles in 2006 and between 13 million and 15 million by the end of its 2007 fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2007, Reuters reports via HoustonChronicle.com.

Last month, Microsoft said it had shipped some 6 million Xbox 360s, according to Reuters.

Speaking at a BMO Capital Markets event in New York, Peter Moore, Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division vice president, said the software giant is looking to convert online gamers into console users to grow its customer base, Reuters reports.

“The real growth here is getting to that moderate gamer,” Moore said, according to Reuters. “We need to bring them to the box.”

Microsoft currently offers an online gaming service, dubbed Xbox Live, which enables users to pay $50 a year to access multiplayer games, game demos and other interactive features. In late October, Microsoft upgraded the Xbox Live service to add a number of new features, including support for high-definition 1080p video playback.

Sony, which will challenge Microsoft in the next-generation game console space with its PlayStation 3 system—due to hit U.S. retailers on Nov. 17—also offers an online gaming service, and it recently announced that Sony PlayStation 3 users will get free access to many of the same features Microsoft offers via Xbox Live. 

In related news, Nintendo will launch its next-gen video game console, dubbed Wii, two days after Sony goes live with PlayStation 3, marking the start of what could prove to be a drawn-out battle between it, Microsoft and Sony for supremacy in the space.

Nintendo also plans to launch a Web gaming service for Wii users, and it said in October that 62 games would be available for the console by the end of the year.

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This article is posted on our Microsoft Informer page. For more news on the Redmond, Wash.-based powerhouse, keep checking in.

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