X360 launch targets announced

3m in 3 months, they reckon.

Bryan Lee, chief financial officer of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices operation, has predicted that up to 3 million Xbox 360 units will be sold during the console's launch period.

Speaking at the Harris Nesbitt Media & Entertainment Conference, Lee said: "I'm very proud to announce that we think through the first 90 days of launch... We expect to have sold 2.75 to 3 million consoles worldwide."

Lee went on to discuss the further profit that would be generated by sales of software, peripherals, accessories and Xbox Live subscriptions, estimating that the overall revenue from hardware and software sold during the launch window will be "well over" $1.5 billion.

"I can't think of many other, if any other, products that have had an initial launch that have sold $1.5 billion to consumers in their first 90 days," Lee stated.

Lee also talked about the opportunities offered by in-game advertising, telling the conference: "We've actually got a couple of games out in the market now on the Xbox platform where we're trialling some ads. We feel very excited about advertising as a potential."

Lee said that in-game advertising could be particulary beneficial outside the US. "[In] markets outside of North America, the fundamentals of our business may not hold."

"Consumers may not be accustomed to paying $50 for software and buying a $200, $300 or $400 device, an ad model may be a way to augment to kind of make the economics work for everyone."

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