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Microsoft ready for Wii "graduates"

Positioning 360 for Wii-owners looking to get a new console

Microsoft hopes that gamers who want to "graduate" from the experiences offered by Wii will look to buy an Xbox 360 as their second current-gen console, according to MS exec Jeff Bell.

Bell speaks positively of Wii's mass-market achievement, saying that he's "thankful that the Wii has been able to open up a lot of people's minds that gaming is fun for everyone."

But Bell admits that the hope is 360 will benefit from this extended gaming appeal, by position 360 as the ideal second console. "We're positioning ourselves to be ready if, in fact, gamers find they're ready to graduate from a certain experience potentially with the Wii, either because it's limited on the type of gameplay that's available or the technology in that box."

He went on to add: "We think that we could live very, very well in the same household as the Wii, and we're trying to make sure that when there is that choice for a second console that it is the Xbox 360."

It's the Wii60 revolution even MS' Peter Moore admitted would be commonplace in this generation.

Later in the interview with 1Up, Bell talks about MS' "coopetition" - so he names it - with Sony regarding the whole Blu-ray business.

"You know, interestingly, we have a long history of partnership with Sony," he says, noting Sony's use of Windows within its laptop business.

"We've been talking to Blu-ray all along because we have the best piece of software in the business, called HDi. It is the backbone that powers interactivity in HD-DVD and we have that available to potentially partner with others."

So will MS ever adopt Blu-ray? "You never say never. I think we'd like to see how things evolve. Our commitment, however, to HD-DVD is profound and consistent, and we have done very, very well in term of our accessory sales," stated Bell.