MS: Xbox can defy economy and grow for 7th consecutive year

The world may be waiting for news of a new console, but Microsoft is focused on making 2012the biggest year in Xbox 360 history.

The platform holder has told MCV it believes it can defy the economy and record a seventh straight year of growth with its ‘strongest portfolio’ ever.

That includes a new Halo game starring iconic hero Master Chief.

We have hit that target of being global No.1 and we want to keep that going and to have an even bigger year in 2012,” director of global marketing for Xbox Steve Beinner told MCV during Xbox’s spring showcase in San Francisco.

There is a tremendous amount of life left inXbox 360.

Halo 4 is our big bet for the year and we want it to be talked about everywhere. If you go back to 2007 when we launched Halo 3, it was all about being culturally relevant. I remember the stuff they did in the UK to make sure it wasn’t just gamers talking about it, everybody in mainstream was. It is bigger than just a game. It is a big piece of entertainment. A blockbuster movie.”

Microsoft’s bold ambition follows an impressive 2011 performance. According to Chart-Track, Xbox 360 was the only format to increase its software sales year-over-year during 2011.

Xbox Europe chief Chris Lewis added: We have an enviable line-up, not just with our own first-party titles, but also from third-party developers.

And if I look at this coming Christmas, I think we have a stronger portfolio than ever. With some of the biggest titles that utilise Kinect in a way, certainly for the core audience, that hasn’t been there in the past.”

Halo 4 is one of three big first-party games headed for Xbox 360 this Christmas, which also includes Kinect RPG Fable: The Journey and a brand new Forza game.

And Lewis told MCV there are still more surprises to come.

It’s no secret that Halo is hugely important for us,” he said. But of course there is more to come, and we will use the beats throughout the year, such as E3 and Gamescom, to sharemore details.”

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