Microsoft's Greenberg: We're Less Than Halfway Through The Console Cycle

Sales of Xbox 360 in the U.S. reached 241,000 units during the month of June, a 9 percent year-over-year increase -- but Microsoft's hoping the industry takes a macro view of the first six months of 2009.

"Our console sales for the first half of the year actually grew 20 percent from January to June versus the same six months last year," Microsoft's Xbox 360/Xbox Live group product manager Aaron Greenberg tells Gamasutra in an interview conducted alongside the June 2009 NPD results. "We're the only console that grew in the first half of the year."

But capturing the early adopters in the core market first, and then expanding outward to ever more mainstream audiences has always been part of the company's strategy, says Greenberg.

"We started in the inner circle, and we'll continue to deliver those core experiences... going after them first was important," he explains. "I think for Sony, what in many ways kind of threw them off that strategy was what happened with the PS2 and the DVD player phenomenon. They kind of expected that to happen with the PS3 and the Blu-ray."

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TheDeadMetalhead3471d ago

I'll believe it when I see it.

Fishy Fingers3471d ago (Edited 3471d ago )

Believe what? Is it still hard for people to grasp the idea of supporting more than one console. This doesnt mean they wont release a new console a few years from now, just they'll continue to support the 360.

I'm sure someone will reply with "like they did with the xbox zomg?" but the situations are completely different and frankly a little thought should save me the trouble of explaining the differences.

morganfell3471d ago

I believe companies will do what they have a history of doing.

jmare3471d ago

But that isn't really what MS is known for: supporting older products when newer products have been released. They may offer some token support, but the main thrust of the "support" would be to get people to upgrade.

If they are saying they're less than halfway through, then they are looking at a 10-12 year lifecycle. HMMMMM, where have I heard that before? Also, it makes it look like they're are pinning all their hopes on Natal to keep up momentum till they decide to end it.

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JsonHenry3471d ago

Even though I am glad that they dropped making new games for the Xbox in favor of the 360 almost immediately, I can see where some people not able to afford a new console might have been upset.

However, I am a video/audiophile and want the new things day one.

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DragonWarrior_43471d ago (Edited 3471d ago )

I agree with you man. They could support the 360 sorta like how Sony supports the ps2, but I bet games like Cod4 will get hurt by dev cost for a new system. Call of duty 6 isn't even coming out on the Wii. Thats how bad its actually gotten for publishers. Having multiple formats is actually a bad thing, unless the market is there for it.

Im not saying it can't happen. But the recession will hurt gaming even if 360's sold for $100 if noone buys them. Consoles sold doesn't mean games are gonna sell either. Look how bad rpg's have done this gen(excluding DS rpg's of course). You have to find and pursue the market before you even think about releasing anything new. New means $$$$. Remember thats what all of this is actually about.

shocky163471d ago

I always knew the 360 would have a healthy long life with plenty of AAA games.

kewlkat0073471d ago (Edited 3471d ago )

if they didn't they wouldn't have made the big impact they have made now. Looking at Halo sales, I think they have kept a good percentage of original owners.

With Sony dominating the last 2 gens, I think once the PS3 on the horizon, nobody would of cared for the next Xbox. The strategy was to come out first and beat them to the punch. Sony stumbled, so in essence, yes, they could of supported the Original for an extra year.

I think, the Original Xbox was to see if they could somehow squeeze themselves in the industry. Almost like they sacrificed it, for what they really wanted to do with the next one. MS had there own troubles with a rushed hardware, which is evident but that's the risk they took. I think, they will overcome RROD because they have had a good PR and have improved elsewhere.

Because of the Economy I expect the Xbox 360 to be out at least 6-7 years because it's all about making money now and getting out the red as a whole.

ABizzel13471d ago

Again I'm stick with my guns, and I say that the next system will come out Fall 2012. That would give the 360 a 7 year life cycle which is more than the average console. And If what they say is true then the Xbox 360 will stay on shelves with the new Xbox console for at least 3 more years which I can see happening (MS is copying Sony's strategy with the PS2, and after seeing the PS2 still sale over 8 years they want to get in on that action as well)

Eddie201013471d ago

You Mean the kind of support they gave the original Xbox after the Xbox 360 was released. They stopped making the Xbox, stopped software support, and barely kept Xbox live going on the Xbox, with the exception of a few software tittle they stopped supporting the Xbox before the release of the Xbox 360.

The company that is about building communities, completely alienated a community of about 25 million.

Fishy Fingers3471d ago

"I'm sure someone will reply with "like they did with the xbox zomg?""

Took a while but we got there.

ukilnme3471d ago

LOL, bubble for you Fishy.

Blogz4Fanboys3470d ago

i was thinking microsoft would release a new console in 2011. now i'm thinking that they are confident in the 360s continuing expansion, and wont bring out something new now til 2012 at the earliest.

and all these people thinking that microsoft will go the digital download're wrong. not only is the internet infrastructure in place to download the massive games which will come next-gen. but not being able to re-sell the game once you've finished it will have an adverse effect on the next xbox.....even massive game stores mite not stock a machine that is potentially going to destroy a massive chunk of their business.

microsoft will either pay the blu-ray conglomerate royalties(blu-ray will have been available for 6 years if the next xbox launches, and royalties should be much lower) or they come up with their own high capacity storage medium which plays DVDs and everything else except blu-ray.

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Dead_Cell3471d ago

They've built a good base with the 360,which they didn't really have with the original Xbox.
They could quite easily put a new console into production and still continue the Xbox360.

Nineball21123471d ago

He didn't really slam Sony in his comments there, which suprised me given his history.

He still thinks that Blu-Ray was a mistake for Sony. I think that's complete BS, but there you have it.

kaveti66163471d ago

It wasn't a mistake, but the circumstances involving the economy really changed everything for it. If the economy was in the same position in 2006 as it was in 2000 then Blu Ray would have taken off for sure. Despite the bad economy, Blu Ray is still the standard and it is still growing. The only problem now is that Blu Ray's success is tied with the standardization of HDTVs. Once HDTVs become a standard in amongst the average consumer then Blu Ray will become more practical to get. I cannot and will not buy a Blu Ray player until I get a decent HDTV and since the cheapest decent HDTV I can buy costs around 800 bucks, I'm not going to get one. HD televisions are a luxury, and right now the public probably views Blu Ray as a luxury.

STONEY43471d ago

"They kind of expected that to happen with the PS3 and the Blu-ray."

Well it did happen! Look around, Blu-ray is rapidly growing.

dcbronco3471d ago

It is growing slowly. And there are no real signs it will grow anymore than it has. The sales are still up and down. Though they are better than they were last year, they aren't what Sony was expecting. Sony thought they would win a large share of the home market at this point and so far they have around 10-11%. Here's a link to Home Media Magazine's electronic edition. You can find plenty of legitimate info on Blu-ray. There is fluff in some of the articles and interviews, but look at the numbers and read some of the articles and the truth becomes clear.


Check out the last week of June.

Blu-ray sales are up 218%, but still only represent 8% of the market. 20 million in sales while DVD has over 200 million in sales. And that is with the majority of DVDs selling at cheap prices. DVD averages half the price of Blu-ray. So if this is the money, imagine the true per disc sales. Blu-ray adds up to a very small number of the actual disc being sold. Blu-ray success is hype by people (Sony and the Studios) that want the higher profit per disc that Blu-ray provides. They're just car salesman trying to convince you to buy an upgrade by saying "All the cool kids are doing it" with percentages.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the better picture and the better sound. But you can get that from digital. I would prefer DD. They could lower the price a lot because it's cheaper than Blu-ray and DVD. And still make a larger profit for themselves. Instead of nickel and diming the customer with new formats every few years.

And for people that buy it in stores, they could just bring a portable HD or an MP3 player. As far as owning a physical copy, they could provide a license for the purchaser so that they can get a new DL if they have a crash or lose the drive. Maybe register the sale with the distributer. There are ways to make it better for the consumer if they wanted to while guaranteeing that the customer always has access to their films.

Fishy Fingers3471d ago (Edited 3471d ago )

"Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the better picture and the better sound. But you can get that from digital."

Either you know squat about BR (other than the bizarre sales figure addiction), you have a very poor video/audio set up. Or your just hating on the product. DD and BR cant be compared.

pippoppow3471d ago

Better visuals and sound compared to Digital Distribution. To some it may be close enough but to those that want the best, Blu-Ray all the way.

TechWiz3471d ago

It was just reported on yesterday on N4G

Spending on Blu-ray Disc software was up 91% in the first half of 2009 to $407 million, according to today's mid-year report from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

That's even more notable in the context of the overall market for packaged media, which was down 3.9% to $9.73 billion, and a whopping 13.5% in the sellthrough category alone. Those numbers would have been much worse had it not been for Blu-ray, which saw a 62% increase in rentals, driving that category up 8.3% overall.

Also propping up the numbers was a 21% increase in digital distribution to $968 million, including $196 million for electronic sellthrough.

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TheMART3471d ago

That would mean that half way would be about on 4 years this November/December and that the next gen will launch at the end of 2013.

Sounds logical, as the 360 is profitable now and the original XBOX 1 wasn't. Sony might pull the plug now on the PS3 like MS did on the XBOX 1 back then because its not profitable (enough) and will try to launch ahead of the next XBOX. The PS4 might come as soon as 2012 I guess.

Microsoft_Spokesman3471d ago

I'm actually really happy and excited about this. When I bought my 360, I had the fear that they'd eventually pull the plug on it just like Xbox 1. But this and project Natal take all my fear away.

nostalgic_noob3471d ago

Xbox 1 could not do Shadow of the Colossus graphically or anything close to it .

360 man3471d ago

splinter cell, ninja gaiden, dead or alive 3, wreckless and alot of other games were all technically impossible on ps2

and shadow of the coluses looked absalutely garbage, wat on earth r u talkin about it couldnt be done on xbox.

it goes xbox, then gamecube, then ps2, then dreamcast

The Killer3471d ago (Edited 3471d ago )

wake up.

....... r u still dreaming?

if any console that reached its limits and becoming a fad that is the Wii then 360 follows it closely.

ps3 have so much room or improvements in all front(graphics and physics etc) while 360 already reached its roof we all know it, they could still improve just by so little that u wont realize it, just compare gears 1 and gears 2 and look how much differences!!!!! very minor!!

now if u compare uncharted with uncharted 2 u will see a huge difference.

ps3 have the features that will make it have longer legs than ps2 from blue ray,HDD standard, motion controller, camera, wireless blue tooth, HDMI cable support, WiFi etc!! and plus the unused SPU that they will unlock it later just like they did with psp.

Etseix3471d ago

360 [email protected]

SoC was garbage!??! *SHADOW OF THE COLUSES* LOL! may i say *gaylo* instead of Halo then?

i wasnt sure u 360 fanboys could reach that level of *fanboyism* thx for let me know. ;]

ur of those ppl that makes the xbox comunity looks stupid.

360 man3471d ago


in case you cant read right, i said shadow of the colloses looked garbage (LOOKED) meaning in terms of graphics. jaggies everywhere

Etseix3471d ago

yea, me too.
SoC'gpx arn't garbage.

and mostly when it was made on PS2.
u can ride freely around the map with no load screen on all the map,
big enviroments, big bosses, for a game like that, the gpx wern't anything close to bad, or normal.

u wont try to put that game aside 1 game of this generation right?

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