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GameStop Execs Talk PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 Prospects

As part of an in-depth interview published today, GameStop VP Bob McKenzie has been commenting in detail on the retailer's impressions of the PlayStation 3, Xbox
As part of an in-depth interview published today, GameStop VP Bob McKenzie has been commenting in detail on the retailer's impressions of the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii going into this holiday season. Starting with the PlayStation 3, when asked how he feels about Sony's next-gen console now that it's moving into its second Christmas, senior merchandising VP McKenzie commented: "I think that has a lot of different opportunities, because it brings in a different type of consumer. It's really the higher end. It's the core consumer that wants the latest and the greatest. They're more into the technology, they probably already own a high definition television, and surround-sound entertainment system." Then, when asked if the PlayStation 3 (currently the worst-selling of the three next-gen consoles) is "living up to its potential just yet", McKenzie's response was: "I think they're not there yet. I think they've done some moves recently, with the mark-down on the sixty-gig that will help to show that they are reacting. That they see the opportunity, and they know that they need to continue to stimulate that. The eighty-gig is coming out now, and having a game packed in, they see that they have a little catching up to do." Moving onto the Xbox 360, when asked for his impressions, GameStop VP McKenzie noted: "Yeah, the 360 lineup is solid. It's really phenomenal -- they've positioned themselves well. Last year we had a two speed strategy going in with the Pro and the Core. This year it is almost double. We have four different hardware SKUs that we have at different price points... They understand that there's a consumer at the end of each of those price points, and they have the product for us right now." "There are over a hundred 360 titles that are coming out for the holiday, and they're continuing to expand the platforms into more of the social gaming and the casual games as well. A very solid holiday; as you mentioned, Halo 3 is going to break all records. It already has. It's our highest [pre-]reservation title [ever]." Finally, when discussing his impressions of Nintendo's Wii in the interview, McKenzie conveyed his positive impressions of the console's launch thus far: "I give Nintendo a lot of credit. They set out a goal to expand the consumer base, and I give them credit, they did a great job of it. I have one in my house. As I mentioned, I have a 7 year old boy, and a 5 year old daughter, and we all sit around the TV. They like playing some of those mini-games, whether it's fishing, or some of the easier games. Even though they're mini-games, there is a lot of good entertainment value in those, and they've done a good job of marketing that. And releasing them, not only at the launch, but also having them bundled in [with the hardware], to give the consumer a taste of the gameplay, then having the subsequent launches of more [titles including] mini-games." The full Gamasutra interview with McKenzie and colleague Tom DeNapoli, conducted at last week's private GameStop Expo in Las Vegas, is now available, with further insight on the retailer's views on stocking AO-rated games, the firm's digital download strategy, and more.

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