Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has expressed enthusiasm for rival Sony's official delay of the PlayStation 3 until November, in an interview conducted with Fortune magazine, and due to debut on news-stands next week, according to early excerpts from the interview and made available by the magazine.
"In every other generation, the first guy to 10 million consoles was the number one seller in the generation," said Ballmer. "Did we just get an even better opportunity to be the first guy to 10 million? Yeah, of course we did."
The race to make it to 10 million systems sold has so far been made more difficult for Microsoft due to production shortages of the Xbox 360, which Ballmer attributed to a specific, though unnamed, component vendor. Ballmer says the company hopes to sell 5 million systems by June, a figure in line with earlier estimates
. "We're sort-of on track," said the CEO, "though it would've been nice at Christmas to have one for everyone who wanted one."
According to Ballmer, the company will use the remaining time until the PS3 launch to strengthen its positions in territories such as Japan where the initial launch was weak, and to work on improving its production pipeline to get as many units as possible into the marketplace while it's still the only next-generation system available.
"It's not going to be that way forever," said Ballmer, "but we're clearly in the phase where it's about how fast we can make them."