Microsoft forecasts 15M Xbox 360 sales by mid-2007

Microsoft forecast its Xbox 360 game console sales could total 15 million by the end of its fiscal 2007, which ends June 30 of next year.

Microsoft has forecast its Xbox 360 game console sales could total 15 million by June 30, 2007, the end of its fiscal year.

The company expects to have shipped more than 10 million consoles by the end of this year. By the end of June 2007, the company expects its sales to total between 13 million and 15 million units since the launch.

Its forecast for its fiscal 2007 is to ship between 8 million and 10 million Xbox 360 game machines.

The company has strong momentum for the XBox 360. In its fiscal fourth quarter, which just ended June 30, Microsoft sold a quarterly record high 1.8 million game consoles, raising its total sales to 5 million globally.

Microsoft has sold 3.3 million of the popular game machines in the US, 1.3 million in Europe and 400,000 in the rest of the world since its November 22 launch last year.

During the holiday quarter last year, Microsoft sold 1.5 million Xbox 360s, increasing sales to 1.7 million during the first three months of this year.

Microsoft also met its sales forecast for the game machines. Last year, the company forecast it would sell between 4.5 million and 5.5 million consoles by the end of June, 2006, and it succeeded despite some early component shortages that hampered sales.

The company's online gaming club, Xbox Live, was also thriving, with a community now numbering more than 3 million members worldwide, it said. About 60 per cent of all installed Xbox 360 consoles are connected to Xbox Live, and users are downloading a lot of free and fee material from the site.

Gamers have already snapped up 18 million downloads from Xbox Live Marketplace, including the latest games, demos, trailers, content packs and themes. At Xbox Live Arcade, where the company offered smaller games, users have downloaded 5 million titles, the company said.

By the time the Western holiday season rolls around in December, Microsoft expects to have 160 high-definition games available on Xbox Live.

Revenue at the company's Home & Entertainment division rose to $US1.14 billion during its fourth quarter, up 94 per cent from $US587 million during the same time last year. It also beat its $US1.06 billion performance from the first three months of this year.

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