Greenberg: Wii consumers are "buying it as a novelty"
Microsoft expects more casual consumers to "graduate" from Wii to Xbox 360
Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg has said that consumers are buying Nintendo's Wii as a "novelty" machine similar to home karaoke machines.
Speaking to Gamasutra, the outspoken director of product management for Micorsoft's gaming business said that he believes consumers aren't buying Nintendo's home console for games, and that those same consumers will eventually “graduate” to the Xbox 360.
“You see they're not buying games on it, right? 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?" said Greenberg of the consoles popularity with consumers new to gaming.
"They're not really buying it for games, they're just buying it as a novelty."
Greenberg believes that the Xbox 360 can appeal to mainstream consumers, not just the hardcore audience, and that the popularity of the Wii will push consumers looking for a new experience to Microsoft's home console over time.
"I think that there's a difference in the type of customer that is buying the Wii. When you think about it, there's a difference between trying to be the number one console with nine year old gamers, and being the console that offers the most experiences from 13 to 33," he said.
"In this generation we're seeing record revenues for the US and globally for the business, and we're seeing more people buying and playing games than ever before, and the Wii is definitely part of that. And as they grow that pie, that benefits us too, because those customers are eventually going to want to graduate to an Xbox 360 experience."
Sales of the Wii in North America were 675,100 units during May 2008, as it outsold its rivals for the fourth consecutive month. According to figures from NPD, the Xbox 360 sold 186,600 units in the same month.