Adam Roberts, executive VP of Vivendi Europe, has told GamesIndustry.biz that while the PS2 is not yet nearing the end of its life cycle, Microsoft must work with publishers to restore retail confidence in the Xbox.
In an exclusive interview, Roberts said: "I think Xbox probably needs help at the moment. We're in discussions with Microsoft to help generate some impetus."
"I think it's going to be a retail-led decision - if retailers lose confidence in a format, then it's very difficult to get that confidence back," he continued.
"A retailer is there to sell what people will buy, and there's no benefit to anyone to have product on the shelves that doesn't sell. Really it's up to us, in conjunction with other publishers and Microsoft, to keep the retailers' confidence in the Xbox as a business opportunity."
"It's not just the responsibility of the retailer... It's a partnership between the publisher, Microsoft and the retailer, not any one of those in isolation."
Roberts was more confident when it came to the future of the PS2, stating: "I'm a great believer in Sony and Sony's knowledge - they know where they are in the life cycle of the PS2, and they're not near the end of it."
"Having lived through the PSone to PS2 transition, it wasn't an overnight phenomenon - people are not going to stop buying PS2 games on the day PS3 comes out."
Roberts also highlighted the importance of reducing the number of filler titles on the market, reiterating Vivendi's strategy of focusing on quality over quantity: "We've made no secret in saying that we've spent the last year and a half refocusing our attention - we've really concentrated our efforts on fewer titles with bigger budgets, and ultimately with higher potential, and that will carry on."
According to Roberts, Vivendi's strategy is to produce "fewer, bigger, better games," since "There is nothing to be gained by having filler titles or just releasing products for the sake of it, just to fill a hole in the schedule."
"The games business is built around content, and you have to sometimes be speculative in the creative process to create something which people want to play, but that's no excuse for churning out filler titles," Roberts concluded.
Visit GamesIndustry.biz later in the week to read the full interview.