Blog Post

@ Media Week: Microsoft Estimates Xbox 360 Retail Value At $1.5 Billion-plus In First 90 Days

Memo to self: don’t sit in front of the speakers during an Xbox demo, particularly one with lots of game video … A little easier on the ears now as Bryan Lee, corporate VP and CFO, home and entertainment, shows off the digital media features of Xbox 360 for the UBS audience. He has an iPod Nano and PSP (which he called a “cute little movie player”) plugged into the console and is controlling it by wireless remote while walking through the room. He displayed the contents of the Nano, picked a song and while that played, popped up a slideshow from the PSP.
Some highlights from the session:
— No near-term plans for an Xbox handheld. Will Microsoft build something comparable to a Gameboy, etc? Lee says it’s a “logical extension” over some time “whether we do it, whether we do it with a partner.”

— Microsoft estimates $1.5 billion-plus of retail spending tied into the Xbox 360 launch. They anticipate selling 2.75-3 million consoles in first 90 days; 4.5-5.5 million in FY06.

— No such thing as a free lunch. Xbox Live’s new free basic tier is being used to push products via demos and trailers.
— Asked why it shipped without a browser, Lee replied, “We actually don’t see this as a pc or a replacement for the PC.” He says that isn’t what users want.

— There’s a marketplace for gamer pictures, the icons used to id players within Xbox Live; publishers are creating them for sale and gamers are buying them for personalization. Lee compares it to ringtones in terms of appeal.