“Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer expressed confidence yesterday in his company’s twopronged challenge to Sony in the pivotal markets for videogame consoles and next-generation DVDs,” The Associated Press reports. “Microsoft is banking on its new Xbox 360 gaming device and the high definition DVD format backed by Toshiba to counter rival Sony Corp’s hugely popular PlayStation lineup and its development of an alternative DVD format called Blu-ray.”
“Ballmer, in Tokyo to mark Microsoft’s 20th year of business in Japan, said he is ‘100 percent’ sure the new Xbox will outsell its predecessor and said the HD DVD format is superior to Blu-ray because it is more easily integrated with personal computers. ‘I know for sure, 100 percent, we will do much, much better in Japan than we did with Xbox I, but that wouldn’t be too hard,’ Ballmer said, adding that demand also seemed strong in northern Europe, the United States and Australia,” AP reports. “Despite the popularity of gaming in Japan, Microsoft has not been able to overcome the home-court advantage of Tokyo-based Sony’s PlayStation franchise. As of September, Microsoft had sold 21.9 million of the first-generation Xbox machines globally since introducing it three years ago, but only about 1.8 million of those were sold in Asia, including Japan.”
“Microsoft is also odds with Sony in the war to dominate the market for next-generation DVDs,” AP reports. “Microsoft is part of a consortium including chip maker Intel Corp that supports Toshiba’s HD DVD, while Sony’s Blu-ray format is backed by PC makers such as Apple Computer Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell… Ballmer also downplayed support for Blu-ray recently shown by such movie studios as The Walt Disney Co, Twentieth Century Fox and MGM.”
Full article here.
[UPDATE: 5:25pm EST: Added photo of Microsoft CEO at MacDailyNews reader big 1’s request.]
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This is what happens when you let the sales guy run the company.
FYI: Blu-ray’s disks will hold at least 50 gigabytes and perhaps 100 gigs or more. HD DVD will start at 15 gigs, and top out at 45. The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is responsible for establishing format standards and promoting and further developing business opportunities for Blu-ray Disc — the next-generation optical disc for storing high-definition movies, photos and other digital content. The BDA has more than 130 members. Its Board of Directors consists of Apple Computer, Inc.; Dell Inc.; Hewlett Packard Company; Hitachi, Ltd.; LG Electronics Inc.; Mitsubishi Electric Corporation; Panasonic (Matsushita Electric); Pioneer Corporation; Royal Philips Electronics; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Sharp Corporation; Sony Corporation; TDK Corporation; Thomson; Twentieth Century Fox; and Walt Disney Pictures and Television. HD DVD’s list of backers includes such names as Microsoft, Toshiba, NEC, Viacom, NBC Universal, and Time Warner among others.
Forrester Research: Apple-backed Blu-ray will win over Microsoft-backed HD DVD – October 20, 2005
BusinessWeek: ‘it looks as if HD DVD’s days are numbered’ – October 07, 2005
China to develop own as-yet-unnamed DVD format; Blu-ray vs. HD DVD vs ? – October 07, 2005
Paramount’s decision gives Blu-ray slight lead over HD DVD in next gen DVD format war – October 04, 2005
Record set straight on Blu-ray Disc Association’s superior high definition format – September 29, 2005
Microsoft backs cheaper, less sophisticated, lower capacity HD DVD over Apple-backed Blu-ray format – September 27, 2005
Twentieth Century Fox joins Apple, Dell, HP, others to support Blu-ray Disc format – July 29, 2005
Poll shows Apple-backed Blu-ray preferred by consumers over HD DVD for next-gen DVD standard – July 14, 2005
Microsoft allies with Toshiba on HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray Disc backers Apple and Sony – June 27, 2005
Apple joins Blu-ray Disc Association Board of Directors – March 10, 2005