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Next-gen consoles could top 1 billion sales combined, suggests MS

Entertainment capabilities expand new consoles' appeal far beyond current audience

Next-generation consoles could attain a user base more than three times as large as the current generation.

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So suggests Microsoft's senior vice president of Interactive Entertainment Business Yusuf Mehdi who, speaking with OXM, said the multi-functional capabilities of next-generation consoles could expand their user based far beyond that of the current machines.

"Every generation, as you've probably heard, has grown approximately 30%," he said. "So this generation is about 300 million units [all current-gen platforms combined]. Most industry experts think the next generation will get upwards of about 400 million units. That's if it's a game console, over the next decade."

But Mehdi thinks the new Xbox One and PS4 consoles could more than triple sales of the current consoles. "We think you can go broader than a game console, that's our aim, and you can go from 400 million to potentially upwards of a billion units," he said. "That's how we're thinking of the Xbox opportunity as we go forward."

Mehdi also hopes Microsoft can sell another 25 million Xbox 360 consoles over the next five years, to break the 100 million sales milestone.

"We believe over the next five years we can break a 100 million unit installed base," said Mehdi.

"That's something we're shooting for, it's not a financial plan as such, it's just rough numbers if you will. To sell another 25 million, half of those will probably come from replacements, but half will come from new buyers.

"And the way we'll break into those segments is by hitting new price points, getting new classes of entertainment to come with the Xbox, and breaking into new customer segments. So you'll see the Xbox 360 continue to exist, even as we launch the next generation Xbox One," he added.

Xbox One will release - alongside PS4 - in the closing months of 2013.

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