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Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg looks to holiday, beyond

If you follow industry news, you know the NPD Group is today announcing its sales figures for the month of September. It's usually a great time for Nintendo fanboys on the hardware side, while Xbox 360 backers can gloat over software sales. In advance of the data, Game Informer had the opportunity to ask Aaron Greenberg, director of product management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, about Microsoft's outlook this holiday season, whether spring 2010 is the new November and much more.

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Anon19743020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

"Just on the games side alone we have exclusives like “Halo 3: ODST,” “Forza Motorsport 3,” “Left 4 Dead 2,” “Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City”, “GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony”"

Yeah, that's 2 games and a series of expansion packs. Really? Is that really what's going to keep you ahead? Or were you counting on Twitter to finally help you match PS3 sales.

"In fact we remain the only platform showing year-to-date growth in console sales compared to last year."

Again, he knows this isn't the case anymore with the PS3 slim's release. And, if you peak in at some tracking sites it's not even true, the 360 is looking at a big fat 0 for year over year sales growth. Even if it is showing year on year sales growth it's still slight, and still a million behind the PS3 year to date. Not surprising considering the 360 has been outsold by the PS3 since the PS3 launched worldwide. Does he really believe that now, staring down a $299 PS3 for the first time, that the 360 can compete suddenly when it hasn't been able to keep up to this point?

Seriously, who does he think he's trying to fool? The last sales quarter Microsoft reported showed the worst 360 sales in 2 years. Did I miss something or is this just damage control on his part?

And you can say you'll beat the PS3 this year in terms of hardware sales, but where are your ship estimates? Fiscal 2010 is the first time since the 360 came out that Microsoft hasn't made public their 360 ship forecasts? Why is that? It reminds me of when 2007 sales data was well below 2006 sales data and Microsoft just stopped reporting 360 sales on their quarterly releases until the sales picked up again. What are they hiding?

"Sony, for example, has publicly noted that they lose money on every console they sell and with the price cut, they’re now losing even more money – so even with the PS3 in the market today at $299, you have to question if their business model is sustainable."

Are you making money off the 360 hardware? You've never said. Financial analysts recently commented that you weren't. Kaz has already confirmed that the PS3 is profitable as a platform. Meanwhile, Microsoft Entertainment posted losses again for the last 6 months reported.

KionicWarlord2223020d ago

He also said ..

"It is not a real concern to us – in fact, I can tell you to that when NPD releases September sales later today, we fully expect PlayStation 3 will come in as the console with the most units sold for the month. This is frankly not a real surprise to us or the analysts that follow this industry, as it is typical to see a short term bump following the introduction of new hardware and pricing into the marketplace. What I can tell you is we remain confident that Xbox 360 will not only outsell PS3 for the full calendar year, but for this entire generation. It is similar to a game of baseball, it is not about just winning one inning, but instead being able to win the game by consistently delivering across all nine innings. "

We will have to wait to see who wins this holiday .

Anon19743020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

"What I can tell you is we remain confident that Xbox 360 will not only outsell PS3 for the full calendar year, but for this entire generation. It is similar to a game of baseball, it is not about just winning one inning, but instead being able to win the game by consistently delivering across all nine innings."

Ok, but you were winning up until the point when the other teams took the field. Now you've been losing ever since and this calendar year alone you appear to be down about half a million consoles versus the PS3.

I'm amazed game interviewers let these guys get away with making statements like this. Are they just not informed enough to ask questions when they hear a statement like that?

Let me interview him!

darthv723020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

even in a game of baseball there are times when one side scores more runs than the other in a single inning. It only adds to the overall score. MS leads a few innings.

As far as I know, the game aint over yet. This is only the top of the 4th. Sony is at bat and scoring hits. Still have 5 more innings to go (if it lasts that long).

KionicWarlord2223020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

Well sony been having some impressive sales lately . Even greenburg said this , but apparently he thinks there going to outsell ps3 this
whole year and generation .

Will have to wait and see if these things come true . At the moment it doesn't look like xbox 360 will pull ahead of ps3 this year .

shazui1233020d ago

"What I can tell you is we remain confident that Xbox 360 will not only outsell PS3 for the full calendar year, but for this entire generation." the 360 hasnt outsold the ps3 in a year yet, the ps3 has always outsold the 360 year on year, why does he think that its going to change when the ps3 has had one of it's best years for sales yet. As for outselling the ps3 this generation, I very much doubt it, with the 1 year headstart sales gap ever becoming smaller (now 4.5 million down from 7 million earlier this year) its most likely the ps3 will outsell the 360

loser3020d ago

and how is your precious sonys financial quarters been going???

not to great either ey.. i'm sure that everyone is still waiting for you to write a blog about sonys pretty bad financials aswell. as you took the time to write one about microsoft, i'm sure a non-fanboy like yourself would be interested in writing one about sony right?

and as for the games that he talked about, imo they are all day ones! and are worthy of any console. but when it comes to the ps3, apart from uncharted(which is in the post..and i cant wait to get it)its a year old game ninja gaiden, two ps2 games ratchet and clank lol and demons souls.

so for me, its uncharted and demons souls, and every game that greenberg mentioned.....i know what i think has the best games this xmas.

40cal3020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

"we continue to remain the best value in home entertainment and feel very confident about our position this holiday."

Laughing my ass off. The PS3 has a much stronger value proposition, that's what the recent 360 price drop was all about, and they still didn't catch up in terms of value.

"What I can tell you is we remain confident that Xbox 360 will not only outsell PS3 for the full calendar year, but for this entire generation. It is similar to a game of baseball, it is not about just winning one inning, but instead being able to win the game by consistently delivering across all nine innings. "

Now correct me if I am wrong, but I'm sure that when you take the amount of time each console has been on the market and number of units sold that the PS3 has moved more units yearly than the 360.

slayorofgods3020d ago

Just to expand Greenberg's spinning.. and talent for playing on words.

"Sony, for example, has publicly noted that they lose money on every console they sell."
yeah but that was on the PS3 fat. The PS3 slim actually makes Sony Money on every console, it costs them 250.00 for every console.

“Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City” (retail standalone), “GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony” (exclusive downloadable content)
what a clever way of mentioning the same game twice, and unfortunately most people are bored of GTA4.

"It is similar to a game of baseball, it is not about just winning one inning, but instead being able to win the game by consistently delivering across all nine innings."
Really his first real acknowledgment that Sony are competition for Microsoft this generation, brings a tear to my eye.

tordavis3020d ago

Being a fan of Blu-Ray, the PS3 has more value to me. What if, however, you don't care about Blu-Ray or Wifi? At that point it could be the 360, Wii or PS3 that has more value to the consumer.

Anon19743020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

And now, because of that currency fluctuations, they aren't. Quite frankly, Sony losses due to currency fluctuations during the economic downturn are well known and documented, not really worthy of a blog posting, in my opinion. Would you read "Sony was making money but now the yen is higher versus the US and they aren't making as much now"?

And what does that have to do with anything?

And I resent the implications of "your precious Sony." Sony just happens to make a console I prefer at the moment. I have no loyalty to the company. Last gen the Xbox was by far my favorite console. This gen the 360 was my favorite until multiple hardware failures cause me to move on.

All that has zero impact on Greenberg's spin. What you're effectively doing is arguing by yelling "Quick! Look over there!"
Trying to change the topic doesn't make a bit of difference to what was being discussed.

Edit Below: You know, I don't know if the PS3 will have any impact on 360 sales in the US. Personally, I think 360 sales will probably still remain the same. I see no reason why more PS3's sold would negatively affect 360 sales. It might have a slight effect, but I don't think it will be pronounced.

soxfan20053020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

It will be interesting to see the NPD numbers later. The 360 sold 205,000 and 215,000 units respectively in July and August. These were the last months that the PS3 was $399.

Now that the 360 is up against the $299 PS3, What do you think will happen to the 360's September sales when they are reported later? Will they go up or down from the previous months? This will be the first real test of how the 360 can "compete" (as you say) now that PS3 is cheaper.

Remember, as it was argued here quite extensively, 360 did NOT have a price cut, they simply added more hard drive space for the same $299 price, and the $199 console was unchanged.

butterfinger3020d ago

"It is similar to a game of baseball, it is not about just winning one inning, but instead being able to win the game by consistently delivering across all nine innings."

That has to be the dumbest baseball analogy I've ever heard. It is well-known by even the most casual baseball observer that a team can score one run in the top of the first inning and win the game. There are so many variables that would make this analogy seem even more retarded, but for now I'll just sit back and have a chuckle at ol' darkride's expense. Just another article that brings out all of these fanboy loons.

loser3020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

what are you talking about? "quick look over there" lol

sony games were profitable? are you sure? with all the money they've been losing on the hardware, and the money they've been pumping into games...are you sure you have your facts rite?

now i know you're someone that likes to write blogs about certain companies financials (lol), so perhaps you can put up some of your research links aswell?

i'll check back after i've had some dinner

Anon19743020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

Just look at Sony's financial updates. Before the US dollar went haywire compared to the yen, Sony's entertainment division has just started posting profitable quarters.
Look it up yourself.
http://www.sony.net/SonyInf...
The yen has moved almost 25% versus the US dollar and the Euro. This is hurting all Japanese electronics makers. Once the US dollar and Euro stabilize, I see no reason why Sony and other Japanese companies that sell to the west wouldn't see their profitability return.

And again, I don't see how shifting the focus onto Sony's financials change the fact that Greenberg is spinning his ass off.

Don't get me wrong. It's not all smiles and sunshine with Sony at the moment. They spent a pile of money developing the PS3 and took quite a hit at the beginning due to the price point they introduced the PS3 at. They've even speculated themselves that they may never make up all that they've spent on the PS3. But that doesn't somehow change the situation Microsoft is in with the 360. Time will tell how it all boils out, but consider this. In the six months after the 360's price cut, revenue was up, 360 sales were up, profit dropped almost half a billion dollars and since then Microsoft entertainment is back in the red.

We know why Sony revenue is down, foreign exchange. We don't know how Microsoft is selling more consoles year over year (according to Greenberg) but posting losses again when they were profitable before.

whoelse3020d ago

"It is similar to a game of baseball, it is not about just winning one inning, but instead being able to win the game by consistently delivering across all nine innings."

Wow they love their analogies don't they! Sounds very similar to the Sony one:

"It's a marathon, not a sprint"

I would be extremely shocked if they can beat Sony this holiday at the current price point.

StanLee3020d ago

For once he did not sound like a total douch. And what's all this about expansion packs? One of the best games this year has been The Lost and Damned and I expect the same quality and content from The Ballad of Gay Tony. Forza Motorstorm 3 and Left 4 Dead 2 will do well both critically and commercially and Halo: ODST is without question, this year's biggest success with both commercial success and great critical response.

Ju3020d ago

@darkride, I respect your opinion. Just a note, the Euro dropped against the Yen about in Oct. 2008 and is relatively stable since. The US$ is still dropping (since 07/2007, with some temporary recoveries).

SCThor3020d ago

add that to his numbers and the X360 is losing like....a LOT.

3020d ago
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Sevir043020d ago

Greenturn still sounds like a douche. this guy really need sto just shut up. -_-... anyways. spring 2010 looks to be the new nov... GT5, GOW3, Heavy Rain, splinter cell, Bioshock 2, Crack down 2, MAG, the games are coming in the ass tons this spring... i dont know how i'll afford them all.

Raoh3020d ago

It's not just greenburg, its pretty much the character of every MS employee..

Peter Moore did it when he was with MS, Shane Kim, Steve Ballmer, etc etc etc.. if your affiliated with MS your also coached into this, turn 10, epic, valve..

it's just how they get down.. its sad and immature if you ask me

PimpHandHappy3020d ago

Sony, for example, has publicly noted that they lose money on every console they sell and with the price cut, they’re now losing even more money – so even with the PS3 in the market today at $299, you have to question if their business model is sustainable.

dear Greenburg.... 1.2 billion and counting in repairs

and btw
where did Sony say that? If someone can get a link i'll give u a bubble

Anon19743020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

I don't have the link but he basically said that he doesn't know why it matters if the hardware is sold at a loss - the overall platform has been profitable since the last fiscal year.

Edit: Here it is!
http://technology.timesonli...

"If you're just talking about the hardware alone, the quick answer is yes. That makes good headlines, but I don't actually know that that's the true nature of the business that we're all in, whether it's PlayStation, Xbox or the Wii. I think the better indicator is to look at the business as a whole platform, to ask: are you profitable in terms of the hardware, software and peripherals. And the answer to that question is yes on a gross profit level since the last fiscal year."

Greywulf3020d ago (Edited 3020d ago )

"it is not about just winning one inning, but instead being able to win the game by consistently delivering across all nine innings"

Yet he ignores the 360's failure in multiple regions of the world.

NPD = world.

Microsoft is getting ready to get owned knowing full well they enjoyed a victory before Sony was priced competitively. This is going to be so fun to watch the pre-npd "Well we knew it was going to happen!" damage control.

Anon19743020d ago

They were playing pool against themselves for the first year, so if you can't that as a win - then more power to you. However, they've been 3rd place now since they've had anyone to play against. I can't believe they're still counting the games they won when they were playing against themselves.
I wish I could get away with that.

Apocalypse Shadow3020d ago

he says that sony is losing money on every unit,but says that their(microsoft's )software and services make up for 360's losses.but he forgets that sony offers home items,quore,psn items,accessories,ps2,psp,etc to make up for their(sony's)losses.the interviewer didn't call him on that and ask if 360 consoles are sold at a profit.

and dark is right,KAZ has said the playstation platform as a "whole" is profiting.but i guess he didn't get the memo.he then goes on to say say that yeah,they will lose this month.we all knew that microsoft would lose this month.and that's "worldwide."who cares about NPD.worldwide has and will always matter over one country.

he says that all 360s will have natal support,but i'd bet there is a catch.it used to be that all systems could play any game except for mmos like ffxi.but games lke forza3 need HDD space to play the whole game.i expect that a HDD will be needed to use natal to its fullest too.i think even burnout needed an HDD to play on 360.

the twitter and facebook comment was just lame.no gamer is waiting on it as if it's some kind of exclusive experience you can't get anywhere else.wii and ps3 having a web browser kills that.and you don't need to **PAY** to experience it with a gold account.it's **FREE**very dumb on his part.and the interviewer didn't catch that.

and then the exclusive list he mentioned.wow.just poor right there.i can understand forza and halo....AGAIN...but where is anything else besides third parties?sony had a long list of games for the whole year.$299 just makes it easier to get all of it.the choices is great from sports to action.and that's EXCLUDING third parties.

i could have interviewed better.by asking real questions.

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