Microsoft CEO Ballmer confident Xbox 360 will sell in Japan, touts HD DVD over Blu-ray

“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.]

Advertisement: The New iPod with Video.  The ultimate music + video experience on the go.  From $299.  Free shipping.
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.

Related articles:
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


  1. I challenge someone, anyone, to remember a prediction Steve Ballmer ever made that actually came true.

    Everytime I see this fool, or hear anything he says about hissales background, it makes me wonder why anyone ever buys anything from him.

    Good Luck to him finding a job when he loses this one.

  2. Blu-Ray is supported by Apple, and, more importantly for my argument, HP and Dell. OK, Microsoft likes HD DVD, but if the box builders don’t use them in their machines, what difference does it make? Are they saying that the will not make Windows compatible with Blu-Ray? Which box makers are going with HD DVD? Seems like Microsoft might have some trouble with this one.

  3. Hey look at me, I’m Steve Ballmer and I’m a moron. Only an idiot like me would trumpet an inferior technology like HD DVD.

    Then Again, I’ve been talking about how great Windows is for years and we all know how that story goes.

    Donuts Donuts Donuts! (clapping hands and sweating).

  4. “Blu-Ray is supported by Apple, and, more importantly for my argument, HP and Dell.”

    Funnily enough I think that those arent even the heavyweights in this alliance. Look at companies like Thomson, Samsung and Philips and it’s easy to see who has the stronger alliance.

    MW strength. How fitting.

  5. Microsoft likes HD-DVD because that group has picked Microsoft’s software to run it. So far Blu-ray Disk has picked Java.

    Seems only logical Ballmer would try to knock BD as much as possible.

    Also, while the article does not explain this. The first series of Xbox 360 machines will NOT have HD DVD in them. They will have just plain old DVDs. HD DVD will not ship in Xbox 360 machines until the second calendar quarter of 2006 at the earliest. Many people are predicting it won’t happen until the third or maybe not until the beginning of the holiday shopping season (late October or November) 2006 — if ever.

    Sony is planning on shipping BD in PS3 from the very beginning.






  7. First of all John, thats a very big IF….very big

    Monkeys tend to like touting banannas around, or anything yellow, such as lemons. Lemons such as HD DVD, and just about everything that has ever escaped the bowels of Microsoft-including anything mentioned in this article.

  8. It’s not good though that the xbox 360 is out for xmas and the ps3 isn’t. Not that I’d ever buy a konsole (atleast not until you can play fps-games with a mouse and keyboard, without lame-ass auto-aiming!) but I hope sony wins this one. Too much M$ isn’t good for anyone!

  9. “I know for sure, 100 percent, we will do much, much better in Japan than we did with Xbox I”…

    Note that while Ballmer has high hopes of outselling the first Xbox, he’s oddly silent on how the new Xbox is expected to fare against Sony. Even if MS doubled sales, double of nothing is still nothing.

    …”but that wouldn’t be too hard”

    Ballmer: If Japan is easy, why didn’t your Xbox do much, much better the first time?

  10. one thing i do not understand is sony’s vaio computer line up uses microsoft windows…? If they are in direct competition why would they be getting microsoft money… Apple and Sony do compete but also work together on some things, unlike sony’s relation with microsoft of pure competition it would make more sense for:

    1: sony to make their own OS… and
    2: or sony to adopt Apple OS X…?

    Just my two sense!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.