Speaking at the ELSPA Games Summit industry summit today in London, Peter Moore, corporate vice president of worldwide marketing and publishing for Xbox, has stated that Microsoft would seek to sell around 10 million units of the Xbox 360 within the first twelve to sixteen months of the new console's release.
Although Moore did not at first seem willing to suggest quite so specific a figure, he eventually admitted that the company would want to sell around 10 million units as part of its "first mover advantage".
The Xbox 360 will be the first of the next generation of consoles to be launched, and is currently expected to receive a world-wide release before Christmas this year. The disadvantage of launching first, though, is that the additional time makes it possible for Microsoft's rivals to further tune their hardware and software plans.
The company will also be concerned that Sony in particular will use the around six month advantage to increase marketing hype for the PlayStation 3, as it attempts to convince consumers to wait for their new console - the so-called "Dreamcast effect".
The advantage of launching first for Microsoft, though, is that it has the chance to establish itself as a prominent next-generation format without initial competition.
"The target of 10 million units gives tremendous momentum to a platform," said Moore at the ELSPA event. The target is certainly an ambitious one, as the current lifetime to date total for Xbox consoles sales worldwide is only around 21 million after almost four years on sale.