| SAN FRANCISCO, March 10
SAN FRANCISCO, March 10 Microsoft Corp
is betting on making sci-fi combat game "Titanfall" a hit big
enough to boost sales of its Xbox One videogame device, helping
it catch up in terms of sales with rival Sony Corp's
PlayStation 4 console.
Retailers are gearing up to get in on the buzz that has
built up around the release of the game, one of the most
anticipated new products for the latest version of the Xbox, by
hosting over 6,000 midnight launch events worldwide.
On sale from Tuesday exclusively for the Xbox One and
personal computers, the $60 game allows players to go toe-to-toe
as soldiers, or take control of giant robots in a war-torn urban
"We're making a big bet that 'Titanfall' is going to be a
blockbuster launch for Xbox," Yusuf Mehdi, head of marketing and
strategy for Microsoft's Xbox group, said in an email interview.
As part of its "Titanfall" campaign, Microsoft will also
promote the game at South by Southwest, the annual gathering of
tech industry experts, filmmakers and musicians now under way in
Austin, Texas. Developed by Respawn Entertainment and published
by Electronic Arts, the game will be made available for
the older Xbox 360 consoles on March 25.
Microsoft is locked in a console battle with Japan's Sony,
which announced last week it had sold 6 million PlayStation 4
units as of March 2. The device beat the Xbox One to become the
top-selling console in the United States in January, according
market research firm NPD Group.
Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launched in November
last year. Microsoft has not provided an update on sales since
January, when it said Xbox One sales crossed three million units
as of the end of 2013.
Priced $100 more than the $399 PlayStation 4, the Xbox One
is seemingly trailing behind in sales. In February, Microsoft
announced an Xbox One and "Titanfall" bundle for $499,
effectively offering the game for free.
With the launch of "Titanfall" much anticipated, the games
industry is watching to see if the title can replicate the
"Halo" effect. Released exclusively for the Xbox back in 2001,
"Halo" - another sci-fi shooter game - became a blockbuster
franchise, fuelling sales of Xbox consoles.
"We don't have a sales forecast for the game to share, but
we expect it to be big for us," Mehdi said.