Microsoft boss slams Wii as "novelty"

Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg has been a little controversial in a recent interview, stating that consumers are only buying Nintendo's Wii as a "novelty" machine, similar to interest in home karaoke machines.

The outspoken director of product management for Microsoft's gaming business said that he believes Nintendo's home console is not being bought for games, and that those same consumers will eventually grow bored and "graduate" to the Xbox 360.

"You see they're not buying games on it, right? They're buying it, it's like something they break out when people come over, and it's maybe a fun thing, but it's almost like the same people that buy a karaoke machine, you know?" he said.

"They're not really buying it for games, they're just buying it as a novelty."

Greenberg goes on to say that he believes the Xbox 360 can appeal to mainstream gamers, not just the hardcorse audience, and that consumers will move over to 360 when they start to look for more from their console.

"I think that there's a difference in the type of customer that is buying the Wii. When you think about it, there's a difference between trying to be the number one console with nine year old gamers, and being the console that offers the most experiences from 13 to 33," he said.

"In this generation we're seeing record revenues for the US and globally for the business, and we're seeing more people buying and playing games than ever before, and the Wii is definitely part of that. And as they grow that pie, that benefits us too, because those customers are eventually going to want to graduate to an Xbox 360 experience."

No matter what he says, the sales for the Wii worldwide speak volumes. In North America, 675,100 units were sold during May 2008 - the fourth consecutive month that Nintendo's console squashed the competition on the continent. Compare this to Xbox 360 sales for the same month, at 186,600, and its obvious that Xbox has quite a lot of ground to catch up.