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Microsoft the No. 2 video-game console maker, said it will sell 10 million Xbox 360s before Sony even releases its PlayStation 3 in November.

Microsoft the No. 2 video-game console maker, said it will sell 10 million Xbox 360s before Sony even releases its PlayStation 3 in November.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates made the forecast at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, conference in Los Angeles. He also showed scenes from Halo 3,'' a futuristic shooting game, which is the most popular title on the first Xbox and isn't available on the PlayStation. </P><P>Microsoft is seeking to maintain momentum for the Xbox 360 after unveiling it in November, giving the Redmond, Washington- based company a year's head start on Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3, details of which were unveiled at the conference yesterday. Gates also announced new software called Windows Live Anywhere that connects consoles, personal computers and cell phones. </P><P>The future of gaming really involves software,” Gates said. “Building platforms is what we’re all about.”

The PlayStation 3 with a 20-gigabyte hard drive will cost about $499 in the U.S., Sony said yesterday, $100 more than the Xbox 360 currently sells for.

A new version of Grand Theft Auto, a game made by Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., will be available for the Xbox 360 games machine in 2007 at the same time the title is available for Sony’s PlayStation 3. Microsoft said.

The title will be available on Oct. 16, 2007, in the U.S. and three days later in Europe, Peter Moore, a Microsoft corporate vice president, said.

The announcement is a win for Microsoft, which previously has had to wait until the title was released on Sony’s PlayStation. Microsoft also said it will offer an attachment that allows consumers to play high-definition DVDs, as well as a digital camera, steering wheel and wireless headset.

Microsoft shares fell 11 cents to $23.62 at 4:30 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. The stock has declined 9.7 percent this year. Sony’s U.S.-traded shares rose 28 cents to $50.66 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading and have climbed 24 percent.
 

 

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