Microsoft has said that whatever Sony announces on February 20--when many expect the PlayStation 4 to be formally unveiled--will not impact the Xbox 360 in the short-term, as "the majority of consumers" won't be aware of it.
"Whatever gets announced on February 20th, the majority of consumers in the UK won’t know," said Xbox senior regional director Jonathan Grimes in an interview with MCV.
Microsoft's job will be to ensure its potential customers don't get "lost" in industry chatter over the next few months, adds Grimes. "They'll still want to buy the devices out there," he said. "So in terms of noise our job will be to ensure that the consumers that are going into stores, going online, still see and experience Xbox, rather than get lost in the industry chatter. Whatever is announced is important from an industry perspective, but we must remember who is buying right now."
Elsewhere in the interview Grimes knocked back suggestions that the Xbox 360 could see a further price cut, and issued a caution to gamers who are wishing for a constant "new" in the marketplace.
"The market has changed," said Grimes. "We changed it by introducing Xbox Live and being able to update Xbox 360. The console that you bought when we launch versus the one today is totally different. And this has enabled us to get the install base we have--an install base that wants to buy games."
"We need to be careful about wishing for constant 'new.' We should look at how we can benefit from what is already out."
Grimes was joined by Xbox marketing director Harvey Eagle, who concluded the interview by reasserting the Xbox's position at Microsoft's whole entertainment brand--the kind of thinking that caused one of the original Xbox founders to launch a scathing attack on the company yesterday.
"Xbox is the entertainment brand for Microsoft now," said Eagle. "Whilst gaming will be a core fundamental of what we stand for, in order to grow the market we need to move beyond just gaming. And you are starting to see that happen now with Xbox Music and Xbox Video showing up on Windows 8. Xbox goes from being present on 8m devices to hundreds of millions of devices. The scale that that brings allows you to do different things and hopefully grow the market."
"Think of Xbox as the service, and we just happen to also make a console."