Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has claimed the PS3’s delayed launch means the Xbox 360 is odds-on to become the biggest-selling next generation console.
In an interview with US magazine Fortune, he observed that the first company to shift 10 million consoles in every other generation has gone on to become market leader. In typically bullish fashion, he remarked on the PS3’s delays: ‘Did we just get an even better opportunity to be the first guy to 10 million? Yeah, of course we did’.
He also added that Microsoft can’t produce 360s any faster than it’s currently doing, and dismissed suggestions that the PS3’s built-in Blu-Ray would give it an advantage, citing the probable lack of content for either Sony’s format or HD-DVD this year.
Whatever the complications about launch dates and storage formats, victory in the next-gen war is likely to be decided by one thing – games.
At the moment the Xbox 360’s chart is littered with franchise sequels, with Project Gotham Racing 3, Quake 4 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’06 all riding high. Some intriguing titles are in the pipeline though:
- Far Cry Instincts Predator. Release 31st March. More of an update than a sequel on the classic PC shooter, Predator combines a revamped version of the Xbox game plus the next chapter, called ‘Evolution’.
- Final Fantasy XI (pictured). Release 20th April. Previously only a Nintendo and Playstation title, the 60-million selling role-player will finally be making its 360 bow in April.
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent Release Spring ‘06. With a new 360 graphical sheen, the next Sam Fisher adventure will let you act as a double agent, serving both government agents and terrorists. Expanded online play is promised too.
- Rockstar Table Tennis. Release 26th May. No, really. The makers of Grand Theft Auto have taken a time out from being the punchbag for violent games protest groups to make a ping-pong sim. We can’t wait.
- Halo 3. Release 2007. Bungie has released no details on the 360’s trump card, so we’re not expecting to see it this year. The Peter Jackson-directed flick of the game should keep Halobessives occupied in the meantime.
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