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Microsoft expects to sell 3 million Xbox consoles in 90 days

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft Corp. expects to sell up to 3 million of its new Xbox video-game consoles within 90 days of the product's launch, an executive said Tuesday.

Bryan Lee, chief financial officer with Microsoft's Home and Entertainment unit, told investors and analysts at the Harris Nesbitt Media and Entertainment Conference in New York that Microsoft aims to sell 2.75 million to 3 million consoles worldwide within 90 days of its debut in North America.

The North American debut on Nov. 22 will be followed by a Dec. 2 launch in Europe and a Dec. 10 launch in Japan.

Lee also said he expects consumers to spend $1.5 billion in the first 90 days after the Xbox 360's launch on the console and peripherals such as games and subscriptions to its Xbox Live online gameplay service.

In North America, the company will charge $399.99 for the Xbox 360, and $299.99 for a scaled-back version.

The company will initially lose money on the consoles but hopes to eventually break even on the hardware and make money on games and other peripherals.

Lee said production of the consoles was going smoothly and Microsoft remains on track to meet its previously stated goal of shipping 4.5 million to 5.5 million consoles by June 2006, when the Redmond-based software company's fiscal year ends.

Microsoft has said it hopes to supply retailers with a steady stream of consoles, rather than providing a big spurt of shipments followed by a long lull.