(For other news from the Reuters Media Summit, click here)
NEW YORK Dec 3 Fresh off strong Black Friday
sales of its XBox 360 videogame consoles, Microsoft Corp
(MSFT.O) is "cautiously optimistic" about the holiday shopping
season, a senior executive said on Wednesday at the Reuters
But things could get tougher next year, said Shane Kim,
Microsoft's vice president of strategy and business development
for the videogame business, as the economy gets sicker and
people cut back spending even more.
The video game business is on track to grow 20 percent this
year, Kim said at the summit in New York, but "people are not
projecting that kind of growth" for 2009.
"Who knows, maybe flat performance will be considered a
remarkable achievement," Kim said. "It's difficult to predict
the future," he said, adding that the gaming industry has
traditionally fared well in economic downturns as people turn
to stay-at-home entertainment.
"While they may cut back on large purchases like
automobiles or appliances, they're still looking for
entertainment," said the executive, who focuses on strategic
planning and partnerships for Microsoft's interactive
entertainment business unit.
Microsoft saw "record-breaking" sales of XBox 360 on the
Black Friday weekend after the U.S. Thanksgiving day, which
marks the start of the holiday shopping season. Sales were up
25 percent compared to last year's Black Friday weekend.
The XBox 360 also outsold Sony Corp's (6758.T) Playstation
3 by three units to one, he said.
Kim said his unit is planning for "tough times" and
assessing where costs could be saved. "A big objective for us
is to deliver most entertainment value for the dollar," he
(For summit blog: summitnotebook.reuters.com/)
(Reporting by Anupreeta Das and Franklin Paul, editing by
Tiffany Wu and Derek Caney)