Electronic Arts & THQ Comment on Next-Gen Gaming Platforms (ERTS, THQI 3Q05 Conf Call Quotes)

| About: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

Leading video game publishers Electronic Arts (ticker: ERTS) and THQ (ticker: THQI) commented on the new generation of game consoles hitting stores over the next 6-10 months: Microsoft's XBox 360 (first to launch -- later this month), Sony Playstation 3 (Spring/Summer '06) and Nintendo Revolution (Summer '06):

From the ERTS conference call -- CEO Warren Jensen:

we are ready for the Xbox 360. We will be supporting the launch with five great titles including Madden NFL, Need for Speed, FIFA to the World Cup, Tiger and NBA Live. By year end three additional 360 SKUs. Fight Night Round 3, Combat and Burnout Revenge. Currently we have activated 35SKUs for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Revolution...

With regard to the Xbox 360, I think the range that you just mentioned for calendar year 05 [editor: 1.2-2 million consoles sold] is probably close to reality. I think what is more important is what's going to happen in calendar '06, and my expectation is that Microsoft will work very hard and very aggressively to get to a 10 million unit install base on a global basis as fast as they can, and in their mind, probably hopefully before Playstation 3 launches. And, you know, we can't make announcements for anyone -- Nintendo or Sony, but our expectation is in North America and Europe, those are probably both second-half launches.

From the THQI conference call -- CEO Brian Farrell:

with limited quantities, and the announced price point for this Xbox 360, we expect the mass market consumer and casual gamer to remain focused on current generation software this holiday...

The reason we're talking about more Xbox 360 is clearly we have much more visibility, the products are further along in development. In that being said, we do have many PlayStation 3 development kits, we intend to be a major player on PS3 at or around launch, depending on when that is.

And you know, the way we see that market, generally along with Nintendo Revolution and how we allocate our capital, we think it's going to be a pretty fair fight between Microsoft and Sony in the next round. Whether it's 40/40/20 between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, or 45/35/ 20. You make up the numbers. You know, our job is to allocate our capital accordingly, as we get more visibility, we'll allocate and reallocate. But you'll see from us relatively equal waiting between 360 and PS3, slightly less on Revolution until we get more visibility on that platform.

(Quotes are from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)