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

42 Comments

  1. After a strong showing at the Tokyo Game Show, which gave them hope, Microsoft has already dropped the ball in Japan. Balmer’s boast wasn’t the big XBox 360 news in Japan today.

    The BIG XBox 360 news out of Japan today was:

    * Only 12 Japanese XBox titles have been announced to be Backwards-Compatible with the new XBox 360 when it launches. Of that meager number, 3 of the 12 are “Halo” titles, which despite being wildly popular in the US, aren’t particular popular in Japan. Many of the most popular Japanese XBox titles won’t be playable at launch.

    http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3145719

    * The disappointing delay of some important Japanese XBox 360 titles, “(eM)-eNCHANT-arM” and Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s highly-anticipated “Ninety-Nine Nights.” The loss of “(eM)-eNCHANT-arM” being significant because of the fact that it was the last hope the XBox 360 had of launching with a Quality RPG, which is more important for system sales in Japan than perhaps any other genre. The loss of “Ninety-Nine Nights” was even worse, as it was really seen as the only “killer app” in the Japan launch lineup. Now all the XBox 360’s hopes in Japan seem to be wrapped up in “Kameo.”

  2. Gee, who to root for in this one (HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray)? Microsoft or the company that thought it was a good idea to install rootkits on the computers of their customers without telling them……

    MW: “Just”, as in there ain’t no such thing as….

  3. Initially I was intrigued by the two new formats, but I’m now bowing out of taking sides in this format war. Blu-Ray may be technically superior on paper, but each week more information comes out about how both formats are being loaded up with DRM measures the likes of which we have never seen (such as the ability to automatically disable the player hardware if a disc is inserted which fits the manufacturers’ definition of “illegal.”)

    Like B-Sabre said, it’s choice between Microsoft or Sony. Wonderful.

  4. xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox xbox !!

    *sweats through dress shirt – passes out*

  5. The Japanese know quality. And they are often untrusting of U.S. companies that compete in markets they already own. X-Box pretty much blew compared to PS2 despite having better graphics and a HDD. Now Microsoft is backing a technology that their 2 biggest PC manufacturers are not backing and just giving the middle finger to the hand that feeds them. As long as Sony gets good third party developers making good games for PS3 (unlike PSP) there’ no reason why Microsoft will increase marketshare in Japan. Add that to the fact that Japan is only company with balls to really hold on to an anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft and you get MDN’s magic word: dead. As in beating a dead horse is still a waste of time.

Reader Feedback

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