Microsoft has already sold more than 84 million Xbox 360s to date, but the company doesn’t think the platform is tapped out just yet. In a new interview with Metro, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said the company expects to sell “millions” more units of the aging console before the generation is over.
“If you bought your Xbox 360 a year and a half ago, I think we have an obligation there,” Spencer said when asked why he thinks there are last-gen-only sequels (Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel) and cross-generation games like Forza Horizon 2 being made. “We’re going to sell millions more Xbox 360s before this generation is done and when people make a [monetary] commitment to us, they’re gonna come in and buy an Xbox 360, I want to make sure that there’s content for them.”
“It’s an investment in the new generation of consoles, not every game is going to go to 360 but I want to make sure the 360 has a healthy line-up of software from us and from third-parties. And I think that’s important,” he added. “Not everyone bought an Xbox One at launch.”
“We’re going to sell millions more Xbox 360s before this generation is done” — Phil Spencer
The Xbox One launched worldwide in November 2013 and Microsoft sold more than 3 million units before the end of the year. Microsoft has not shared a new sales update so far in 2014, only to say the console has shipped–not sold–five million units as of March 31. In May, the PlayStation 4 was yet again the top-selling console in the United States, according to data released this week by the NPD Group.
Also in the interview, Spencer addressed two Xbox One features that were not discussed much during Microsoft’s E3 press conference: Kinect and TV offerings. Spencer said TV functionality is “incredibly important” to Microsoft’s long-term success on Xbox One. However, games must come first, he said. “You only get permission to use [TV functionality] if you get the person to buy the console to go play Titanfall or Halo or Forza or GTA or whatever,” Spencer said.
Microsoft has more than a dozen TV projects in the works from its Xbox Entertainment Studios division. These include a multi-part documentary series about the recent E.T. landfill dig in New Mexico, a World Cup-themed show, a comedy program from funny people like Sarah Silverman and Michael Cera, and a documentary from Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn about how technology affects our world.
Regarding Kinect, Spencer said the camera technology is “critical” to Microsoft’s overall success with the Xbox One, mainly because it is a differentiating factor for the platform, he said. Microsoft started selling Xbox Ones without Kinect last week, and at GameStop at least, these units are “flying off the shelves.” Spencer contends that removing Kinect from the official Xbox One bundle will actually lead to greater Kinect sales in the long run.
“We’ve had over a billion voice commands used since we’ve launched, we’ve got games that are using gestures in interesting ways… I think the idea that every game is going to turn into a purple-boxed game that’s a Kinect exclusive game was maybe [laughs] not the future,” Spencer said. “And I don’t think the future that we really want.”
“We’ve got games that I think use Kinect in a natural way or they choose not to. It’s more about supporting the creative and the game to deliver the right experience, rather than trying to exploit a certain part of the platform for kind of a PR purpose,” he added.
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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