At the BMO Capital Markets Interactive Entertainment Conference on Thursday, Microsoft said it expects to hit a notable milestone with the Xbox 360.
"By the end of this month, we expect our global installed base to reach 25 million units, surpassing that of the first Xbox," said Mindy Mount, CFO of the firm’s Entertainment & Devices Division.
She said that the milestone is still "only a start," as "more than three-quarters" of a console’s sales occur when it drops to $199 or lower. Three current models of Xbox 360 range from the $199 base Arcade version to the $399 Elite version following an early September price drop.
Due to that drop, Microsoft said sales of Xbox 360 rose 42 percent month-on-month in the U.S., 62 percent in Europe and 500 percent in traditionally Xbox-averse Japan.
Regarding the upcoming shopping season she added, "We have a lot of reasons to be cautiously optimistic" about Xbox 360 during the holidays and beyond.
Her presentation came the same day that the NPD Group released its October U.S. sales figures, with Xbox 360 sales reaching 371,000 units, well above rival PS3’s 190,000.
Mount argued that consumers realize they get more bang-for-the-buck from videogaming compared to other forms of entertainment such as tickets to sporting events or movies.
As for Microsoft’s holiday software standouts, first-party title Fable II from Lionhead was the best-selling piece of software for October, and the Xbox 360 November exclusive Gears of War 2 from Epic Games sold 2 million in its opening weekend.
But Mount said that the mass market title You’re in the Movies could be a "sleeper hit" of the holidays, particularly among teens and women. The game uses the Xbox Live Vision camera to place players’ images in corny B-movie creations.