Harrison: consoles still "generate the majority of the money" for industry
Also, could we see the Rift on Xbox One?
Microsoft's Phil Harrison has said that he still sees consoles as the industry's main business, producing the majority of revenue.
Speaking to CVG at Gamescom this week, Harrison defended the console market as a viable ongoing business, showing unsurprising optimism in a sector which has been marked as declining by many proponents of social, mobile and free-to-play.
"Well the Xbox 360 continues to make a profit, and we hope a substantial contribution not just to Microsoft but to the industry as a whole," Harrison explained. "There are various stakeholders who are publishing, developing, retailing, distributing, manufacturing - there's still a very substantial economy around the console business, and it still generates the majority of the money in the computer games industry.
"Hardware is a significant part of that, and it's significant because of how much consumers spend on Xbox Live and the amount of games people spend every year. We see games with multi millions of unit sales going on for a very long time."
However, he was unwilling to put into black and white the issue of whether the 360 had made or cost Microsoft money over its lifetime. Instead, he pointed readers to the press releases and financial statements of his corporation, whilst simultaneously acknowledging that the company chooses not to fully delineate fiscal figures for the console arm of its business.
"We don't break down the specifics, but if you look at Microsoft's public statements you can see a lot of details about our business, and that would be the only place where you would get the facts."
After a punishing schedule of presentations, interviews and interrogations, it's perhaps understandable that Harrison is a little cagey with his answers, but a response to one question in particular might give Microsoft fans a more positive spin - Harrison seems to think that there's no reason to rule out the Occulus Rift coming to the console.
"Yeah there's high-speed USBs on the back of the console that allow for high-speed data transfer, and our platform is designed to be open and extendable," Harrison mused, before adding that "we have no particular plans at the moment."
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