Nintendo will be launching Wii U in just a few weeks, and Mario and Co. no doubt would like Wii owners to make the jump to their new platform, but Microsoft sees it playing out differently this holiday. With blockbusters like Halo 4 and a $50 price cut on holiday bundles, Matt Barlow, general manager of product marketing for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, believes Xbox 360 will have the edge in the HD console battle.
"I think this holiday season is an amazing jump off for all those people who may have been interested in the Wii and now want to be interested in high definition gaming," he told GamesIndustry International last week. "I can't think of a better console for them to choose than one that has the most games available, the highest rated games available, than the Xbox 360 platform."
"And when you look at the alternative experiences that we're going to bring with SmartGlass, the entertainment providers that we're bringing on board, with sports and music and movies and TV, and then if you think about those preeminent best selling blockbuster games that they're going to want to play - Halo, Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Forza, Nike+ Kinect Fitness - they either play first or they play best on Xbox 360 and nowhere else."
"We've only scratched the surface...Kinect is going to be something that everyone's going to want to own"
"Like I said, jump off is great and we like the way we're positioned to pick those customers up. They really should consider an Xbox 360 if they're looking for the best high definition gaming and entertainment platform."
Barlow was speaking as part of an interview about how Microsoft is positioning the Xbox 360 business going into yet another holiday season, nearing the end of its lifecycle. He noted that Kinect, which he said has now sold 20 million units, will continue to play a large role and he believes it's actually beginning to resonate with the core audience.
"When you look at the way core has adapted to Kinect, the things that they're valuing with it - the voice control stuff is really starting to catch on. When I look at some of the stuff we've done with Skyrim, some of the integration we have with Skyrim, some of the work with FIFA...voice integration has been unbelievable. If you look at some of the reviews we have on Mass Effect 3 and some of the people who play through using some of the voice control capabilities as well in that game. We're starting to strike the right chords in the core audience," he said.
"There are plenty of uses for this particular technology, whether it's gesture or speech, and we've only scratched the surface. We've only been in this thing a couple of years now...Kinect is going to be something that everyone's going to want to own. Whether you're core, whether you're broad, whether you're entertainment or game based - the present's great. The future is going to be even better."
Stay tuned for the full exclusive interview with Barlow later this week.