Australia's top Xbox executive, Microsoft's David McLean, spoke to GameSpot AU last week and provided his company's perspective on the PlayStation 3 launch delay in territories outside of Japan and the US--specifically, the console's delay from November 2006 to March 2007 in Australia. He said the delay didn't catch him or anyone else at Microsoft by surprise. In fact, McLean brought up the topic of even more delays for Sony's next-gen console.
"[The PS3 delay] doesn't surprise me--and it further wouldn't surprise me if this product wasn't seen in March next year either," McLean said.
"We have always been comfortable with our strategy for Christmas irrespective of Sony. We are completely unsurprised by this situation. We have actually been a little surprised at how surprised other people have been."
McLean hinted that Microsoft would unveil some retail-focused strategies this holiday season to entice gamers who had money saved up for a PS3 to switch to an Xbox 360 instead. McLean was close-mouthed when it came to providing exact details, however.
"We may well look at working with our retail partners to come up with some opportunities to give gamers more choice," he said.
McLean said the only downside for Microsoft with the PS3 delay was that consumers would have to wait longer to finally compare the 360 and the PS3 side-by-side.
"It would have been nice for people to really contrast what the Xbox 360 had to offer versus Sony this Christmas, so the vapourware aspect could go away," he said.
But when it comes to the other next-generation console still expected to reach Australian shores this year--the Nintendo Wii--McLean was more benign. "I actually think the Wii is very innovative. I think it will have an interesting niche market for that controller. I do think that it will lend itself to some new experiences around gameplay--but I also do think that in terms of true power, next-generation content and true digital lifestyle scenarios, the game is still with Xbox 360," he said.
Sony Computer Entertainment Australia declined to comment to GameSpot AU about Microsoft's reaction.
(Author Randolph Ramsay reports from Sydney, Australia, for GameSpot.)