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Microsoft Banks On Second-Place Finish For Xbox 360

Microsoft Banks On Second-Place Finish For Xbox 360 Exclusive

September 5, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander

"We will sell more consoles this generation than Sony," says Don Mattrick, senior vice president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business -- while admitting Wii's lead is too much to overcome.

"I'm not at a point where I can say we're going to beat Nintendo," Mattrick said, speaking to Business Week on the heels of Microsoft's recent price reductions across all of its Xbox 360 SKUs.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter recently told Gamasutra that the price cuts could give Xbox 360 as much as a 20 percent sales boost for the remainder of the year.

Heading into the key holiday season, Microsoft's lowest-end Arcade SKU is now priced lower than the Wii, possibly offering mainstream consumers and price-conscious shoppers an attractive alternative to the Wii, especially if Nintendo battles supply constraints again.

Meanwhile, in a challenging economic climate, Pachter isn't so sure that Sony remains competitive at the $399 price point. However, Sony asserts that tight budgets will mean consumers will analyze their purchases more closely and choose a long-term investment in its "future-proof" ten-year strategy for the PS3.

Nonetheless, analysts still widely anticipate that Wii will lead the current console generation, with Sony and Microsoft in a battle for second place that IDC analyst Billy Pidgeon tells Business Week "is going to be close."

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