Microsoft “have to be No 1. in Europe” to win top spot

The Xbox 360 is quite happily in front of the PS3 in America but the rivalry is much closer in Europe. And Europe is key to achieving the company’s worldwide domination dreams, Microsoft’s EMEA chief Chris Lewis believes.

He told MCV: “The momentum we have at this relatively late stage in the generation defies the normal logic of a lifecycle.

“In EMEA we grew around 20 to 25 per cent last year. To meet our global ambition of No.1 status, we have to be No.1 in Europe.”

The company attributes such success to Kinect, which has gone on to sell incredibly well worldwide. “We enjoy great success in the UK. And we are No.1 in a number of countries around Europe, but not right across as an aggregate. That has to change. We will grow again next year,” Lewis continued.

“Kinect put a huge shot of adrenaline into the arm of the business. Its performance in Europe is in line with the size of the market. We’re seeing a healthy connection with Kinect in the UK, and other parts of Europe are picking up their market share.”

As for the threat of competition, Lewis isn’t worried. “I know you see us as arch-rivals, which we are, but we’re also colleagues in this industry and we do talk,” he said.

“We have high respect for both of our competitors. But I wouldn’t trade places with anybody.”