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Microsoft Rep Insists Gamers Will Graduate to Xbox 360

| 7 Jul 2008 16:08
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Almost two years after Nintendo started stomping his company's guts out, Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg says Wii owners are eventually going to get over the "novelty" of the system and move up to the Xbox 360.

In an interview with Gamasutra, Greenberg, the director of product management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, said the Xbox 360 could succeed in attracting Nintendo's base of casual gamers as well as the hardcore gaming crowd typically viewed as Microsoft's audience. He added, however, that he didn't consider the Wii a "direct competitor," saying, "We actually very much complement the Wii experience. It's obviously clear that we're going head-to-head with the PS3 in this generation. I think what Xbox will be able to do as well as the Wii is grow the market."

"In this generation we're seeing record revenues for the U.S. and globally for the business, and we're seeing more people buying and playing games than ever before, and the Wii is definitely a part of that," he continued, adding that as the market continues to expand, gamers are going to want to "graduate to an Xbox 360 experience."

"Everyone say that eventually the novelty will wear off, right? I think that a lot of people that are buying [the Wii] today are not people that have generally bought consoles in the past, right? You see they're not buying games on it, right?" he said. "They're buying it, it's like something they break out when people come over, and it's maybe a fun thing, but it's almost like the same people that buy a karaoke machine, you know? They're not really buying it for games, they're just buying it as a novelty."

While Greenberg's optimism is commendable, the Wii continues to dominate console sales and make strong showings in worldwide software sales charts. In March, the Xbox 360 sold less than 190,000 units, a flattening of sales that analyst Jesse Divnich said indicated "market saturation" for the console; over the same period, the Wii clocked more than 700,00 units sold.

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