In her presentation to the BMO Capital Markets Conference this morning, Microsoft's Mindy Mount noted that the Xbox 360's installation base will hit 25 million sometime this month, surpassing the installation base for the original Xbox. The 360 will hit that figure in three years, compared to more than five for the original machine.
Mount, vice president and chief financial officer in Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, touted the recent price cut on the 360 Arcade configuration to argue Microsoft remains well positioned despite what everyone anticipates will be a consumer slowdown in the worsening economy. "History shows that more than three quarters of console sales come at a price of $US199 or lower," Mount said, calling the 25 million installation figure an important milestone, but "only a start."
Much of Mount's discussion dealt with video gaming's strong value compared to other entertainment experiences of a more limited duration.
"Video games offer some of the most hours of entertainment per dollar than any other form of entertainment," Mount said. "For price of taking family of four to an NFL game, you could also buy an Xbox 360 Arcade, a copy of Madden, and play football all year long."
Mount also noted that the last U.S. recession on record, in 2001, still saw 43 percent growth for interactive entertainment. "It's not recession proof, but even in hard times people want entertainment more than ever before, and video games offer great value for the money."