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Microsoft Hypes Xbox 360 Ahead of PlayStation 4 Unveiling

By: Benzinga
Posted: 2/12/2013 3:15:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: MSFT;NFLX;SNE

Sony (NYSE: SNE ) is expected to unveil the fourth PlayStation during an event next week, but Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) is choosing not to comment about any future hardware developments. "All I'll say about our current and future investment is [that it is] about doing things that are big and premium," Yusuf Mehdi, head of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, told AllThingsD at the D: Dive Into Media event. "Other people will try some lower-end things; what we will do is things that are big and beautiful."

When asked for any details regarding the company's next Xbox, Mehdi said that he will "politely decline any comment."

While some might take this as Microsoft's way of bolstering an existing item in the face of a new competitor, his words are likely more of a tease for the third Xbox than people may realize. The "big and beautiful" things he spoke of could be executed on the current platform, but why would the company limit itself to an eight-year-old machine? Microsoft will need a number of catalysts to inspire consumers to make a purchase this fall.

Fresh concepts are nice, but they are not enough to inspire massive sales. Consumers want great games and groundbreaking innovation . A variety of "big and beautiful" content items could also be helpful.

Microsoft has sold 76 million Xbox 360 units since the console was released in November 2005. Xbox Live, the company's online gaming and entertainment service, has acquired 46 million subscribers -- that's 16 million more than Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ). The company said that U.S. Xbox Live account holders use the device for an average of 87 hours per month.

Additionally, Microsoft has sold 24 million units of Kinect, the company's hands-free, motion-based controller attachment.

Shares of Microsoft are up nearly four percent over the last 30 days. Sony has fared even better, rallyingg 35 percent over the last month.

More recently, however, Sony has not been performing very well. The company has lost more than six percent of its value over the last five days. Sony dropped another two percent this morning.

Investors have been much kinder to Microsoft, which has risen more than one percent during the five-day period.

Will the tables turn after Sony's event (scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, February 20)? Both investors and consumers will be watching closely to find out.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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