Microsoft's chief financial officer, Chris Liddell, has confirmed that the company expects platform exclusive Halo 3 to boost Xbox 360 sales when the game hits the shops later this year.
Speaking in a conference call following the publication of Microsoft's Q3 financial results, Liddell said, "Halo 3 is clearly going to have a positive impact in two senses. One, it gives us more confidence in the number of consoles we think we're going to be able to sell next year.
"In terms of the direct impact, obviously it's a first-party product so it's reasonably profitable from our point of view, and it will be several hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue next year."
As confirmed last month, Halo 3 is due to launch in the autumn. A key product in Microsoft's 2007 software line-up, it's highly likely to boost Xbox 360 sales - which decreased during Q3 and caused a drop in revenues for the company's entertainment and devices division.
"Sales during the quarter in terms of sell-in were around 500,000 consoles. Sell-through was higher than that, so our inventory levels did come down to normal levels," Liddell said.
"We did see a good inventory movement during the course of the quarter."
When asked if there were any competitive changes during the quarter with regard to Sony and Nintendo, Liddell replied, "No, nothing of significance. We're obviously very happy from a competitive point of view with the response in the marketplace, but nothing of significance."