Microsoft Wary Amidst Economic Uncertainty

Microsoft Wary Amidst Economic Uncertainty

Microsoft is riding high on Black Friday sales and increased hardware uptake following a September price cut, but the company isn’t completely certain about sales growth next year amidst continuing economic downturn.

Shane Kim, VP of strategy and business development for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business told Reuters Wednesday he’s "cautiously optimistic" about Xbox 360 sales during the holiday shopping season.

The company is formulating ways to cut costs in the year ahead. "A big objective for us is to deliver most entertainment value for the dollar," he said.

Game companies and analysts seem to agree that the games industry is highly recession resistant, with October U.S. videogame sales rising 18 percent year-on-year to $1.3 billion despite the poor economy.

Research firm NPD Group expects U.S. sales to hit $22 billion for 2008, up from $18 billion in 2007.

But 2009 may not see that kind of year-on-year growth, Kim said. "Who knows, maybe flat performance will be considered a remarkable achievement. It’s difficult to predict the future."