Those of us that were around the last time that the phrase ‘next-gen gaming’ was all the rage will remember how quickly Microsoft ditched the original Xbox when its successor was launched. In contrast, to a certain extent Sony continued to release games for their elder console, and almost re-branded it to appeal to younger family members, once the 360 was on shop shelves Microsoft seemingly didn’t want to be associated with their first dipped toe into the gaming world.
If you were afraid that history might repeat itself once the Xbox One is launched later this year, Microsoft finally has some good news for you. Yusuf Mehdri (the Senior VP of interactive entertainment for Microsoft) has recently given an interview to OXM magazine, in which he promises to keep the Xbox 360 “vibrant for years”.
“We believe over the next five years we can break a 100 million unit installed base,” Mehdi told the magazine. “That’s something we’re shooting for, it’s not a financial plan as such, it’s just rough numbers if you will. To sell another 25 million, half of those will probably come from replacements, but half will come from new buyers.”
He added, “and the way we’ll break into those segments is by hitting new price points, getting new classes of entertainment to come with the Xbox, and breaking into new customer segments. So you’ll see the Xbox 360 continue to exist, even as we launch the next generation Xbox One.”
Mehdi also had some slightly consoling words for those fans who think that Microsoft has sold out, and the next Xbox will only be designed around watching TV. “We think you can go broader than a game console, that’s our aim,” he claims, which has long been Microsoft’s aim, even when getting into the video games industry in the first place. Keeping the core gaming market whilst expanding more and more into the living room is the company’s ultimate dream. Selling more Xbox 360’s will also be likely to increase the amount of Xbox subscribers, and push more gamers towards the Xbox One as they graduate into the next-gen, or persuade their families to invest in the new all-in-one ‘entertainment box’. Whether or not the continued support of the 360 means any more first party games, or just still selling the machine is still open to question however. Either way we will soon see at E3 whether or not more games on the 360 platform are on Microsoft’s radar.