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Microsoft's Steve Ballmer Takes On PS3, All Comers

In a lengthy interview with Investor's Business Daily, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer waxed confident about Microsoft's strategies against its competitors for the coming yea...
In a lengthy interview with Investor's Business Daily, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer waxed confident about Microsoft's strategies against its competitors for the coming year, including Google, Apple's iPod, and Sony's PlayStation 3. Ballmer played up the successes of the Xbox 360's launches, saying that despite its weaknesses, it would eventually be the victor in the current console generation. "We knew Japan was going to be tough," said Ballmer, but "I'd still call the launch phenomenal. I think in this generation we can win. I'm not sure we're going to beat Sony in Japan this generation. Maybe. But we're going to beat Sony. We're off to a very good start. We're on track to sell between 4.5 to 5.5 million units by the end of our fiscal year, which is great." The 4.5 to 5.5 million estimate has recently become Microsoft's benchmark of success, after much-reported but unspecified manufacturing difficulties caused the company to abandon its original 90-day target of 2.75 to 3 million consoles shipped. Responding to questions about a potential threat from the PlayStation 3, given the problems encountered during Microsoft's "first mover" advantage window, Ballmer commented: "Nobody knows what PlayStation 3 is, so it's a little hard for me to answer the question. And nobody knows when PlayStation 3 is going to come. The rumors are it will come out in the spring, but only in Japan. And nobody knows what PlayStation 3 is going to cost." He continued confidently: "PlayStation 3 has a (Blu-ray Disc) drive built in, so who knows what the heck they're going to charge for the thing, because those are very expensive drives. Who the heck knows what the games are going to look like for PlayStation 3? So, a lot of questions. And Sony has no strategy for an online service."

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