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Xbox Chief Talks Up Games Mass Appeal

Q: At the press event last week, you predicted that a billion people would play the Xbox 360. How did you come up with that figure?

The thing about that comment is it's really intended to be an inspirational comment for the industry. Right now, more people enjoy movies, music, television and movies than they do video games.

Our revenue growth is great, right? If you look at all the numbers, you say, "We're doing great as an industry." Well, we force everybody to go buy new hardware every five years. That helps. Our average selling point of content is $50 or $42 or whatever you want to call it. That helps, right? And the fact that we have such an enthusiast base that consumes so much, it drives up those numbers.

That's great, but how do we invite people back in and turn the world into gamers? To think that there are a billion people in the world that can read or watch movies or play music, nobody would scoff at that. But if you say, 'We're going to get a billion people to go play games,' that's a big dream.

And so, it's more a challenge to the industry to say, 'Hey, we're all going to appeal to the core gamers , but let's all do our part to take it to the next level.'

Q: Why do you think the Xbox 360 will have an appeal outside of the core gaming contingent?

Well, the first is approachability, which takes several forms. First is the device itself. The industrial design of the device really reflects the optimism that we have for the industry, and it's more inviting. We went to a wireless design. And it seems like a trivial matter from a technology point of view, but from a living-room experience point of view? Having wires strewn across your couch and across the floor is a big deal to a lot of people. So, in showing the industrial design and the wireless concept to a lot of nongamers, they say, 'Well, finally, this is a product that doesn't need to be banished to the basement.' So, I think it will get into the right place in the home and invite more family members to participate.

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