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CES: Xbox 360 aiming for 4.5 to 5.5 million shipments by summer

Microsoft's Xbox chief Peter Moore has provided updated guidance for hardware shipments of the Xbox 360, saying that the firm is bringing a new factory online with a view to shipping up to 5.5 million consoles by June 30th.

Microsoft's Xbox chief Peter Moore has provided updated guidance for hardware shipments of the Xbox 360, saying that the firm is bringing a new factory online with a view to shipping up to 5.5 million consoles by June 30th.

Speaking during Microsoft chairman Bill Gates' presentation at CES in Las Vegas last night, Moore announced that manufacturing firm Celestica will begin production of the Xbox 360 early next month, joining existing manufacturers Wilstron and Flextronics.

The addition of Celestica should help the firm to meet demand for the console, which has been sold out in North America and Europe since its launch late last year, and is believed to have shipped around 1.3 million units worldwide to date.

Some analysts have expressed doubt over Microsoft's original target of shipping 2.5 to 3 million units by the end of March, especially given the possibility that as few as 200,000 new units may ship in North America in January, according to comments made by Banc of America Securities analyst Gary Cooper recently.

However, with Celestica set to come online in early February, units from the new factory may be hitting stores in time to help the firm reach its targets for the March quarter as well as its new targets for the June quarter.

Moore also took the opportunity to announce a number of statistics relating to the Xbox 360, including the fact that over half of all Xbox 360 owners to date have used the Xbox Live service (although whether they're just connecting to it over Xbox Live Silver or actually playing games through the paid-for Xbox Live Gold service wasn't mentioned), and that four million pieces of game, movie and music content have been downloaded through the service.

Another key part of his speech focused on the relationship between Xbox 360 and HDTV sales, and presented statistics based on a survey of Xbox 360 owners - revealing that 90 per cent of them either own, or plan to buy a HDTV, and that of those who plan to buy one, 90 per cent cite the Xbox 360 as their primary reason for purchasing.

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Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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