Talking to Gamasutra as part of an in-depth interview to be published tomorrow, Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president Shane Kim has spoken on Xbox 360's current PR advantage, suggesting that "Sony has helped us with their own missteps", and praising Nintendo's "strong" Wii launch.
Specifically, when asked whether the current 'backlash' against the PlayStation 3, especially in Europe, is helping Xbox 360 sales, Kim replied: "I feel more confident about our competitive position today than when we launched the program. We've already got ten million units out there, we've got six million members on Xbox Live, we will have 320 Xbox 360 games available for customers by the end of this year."
He continued: "We're the leading game development platform, and I think we have the best exclusive content. Certainly I feel like we're executing our strategy, and it's running on all cylinders. Sony has helped us with their own missteps, and I'd be foolish not to say that it's not helping us. That's fine. I feel better about our competitive position than when we launched the platform."
In addition, when asked whether there were thing that Nintendo was doing with the Wii that Microsoft would like to do, especially with regard to the family market, Kim commented: "...In general, I applaud Nintendo for their success. I think what they're doing is very important. They're trying to bring more people into the industry and -- objectively speaking -- I think it's Nintendo and Microsoft that are really generating the excitement for the industry. And that's important for the industry."
He continued: "The fact that Nintendo and Wii have launched strong and that people who are not traditional gamers find excitement in the video game industry is a great thing for the business, and for us as well, since we're going to compete for that customer segment as well."
Kim's conclusion: "I don't view Nintendo as a direct competitor, simply because they're not trying to do the same things as we are on the higher end -- they don't have the same online aspirations as we do -- but Sony and Microsoft really need to compete for that customer segment if we want to get to the mass market and win this generation. Nintendo's certainly done a lot of great things. That's more what I think of as what we need to do a better job of as we go after that."
The first part of an in-depth interview with Kim on this and a multitude of other issues, including the adoption of XNA and the Xbox 360's major media pushes for this year, will appear on Gamasutra tomorrow.