Microsoft may be happy with a second Christmas without next-generation competition from Sony, but it wants to go head-to-head with its rival so that consumers can finally compare the two console offerings.
Speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz, Xbox boss Neil Thompson also stated that he only sees Nintendo's Wii as a product that will compete with 360 in the most basic sense this Christmas — as a product that may steal consumer pounds.
When asked about Microsoft's reaction to the news that the PS3 would not launch in Europe this side of Christmas, Thompson replied: "In some ways it would have been good if it had, because then people could have really made the comparison. Sometimes it's worse when you're fighting a myth, than when you're fighting reality."
"In a lot of ways we'd like people to put the system side-by-side and see whether people want a platform where they're paying for Blu-ray straight away. Is Blu-ray that important to you that you want to buy into that platform right now and spend GBP 500 doing that? Or do you want a gaming system that has more high-definition gaming content today, has a better online service and provides you the choice of whether you want to upgrade to the next-generation of DVD platform in the future?"
"We would have quite liked to have gone head-to-head on those issues because we feel very strongly that we have an incredibly compelling offering," he added.
And despite Nintendo warning retail channels its Wii console may sell out in Europe this Christmas, Thompson is adamant that the new system will not encroach on Microsoft's space.
"It has the potential of taking consumers spend and wallet share away from us in general, but at a product comparison level it's not competing with us at all. It's an innovative, low-definition product," said Thompson.
"People will make a clear decision as to whether they want that sort of product — a kids toy — or they want high-definition gaming and entertainment and all that it brings."
"They are only a competitor in so much as they'll take consumers pounds and I'd like to have as many of those as I can," he concluded.