April 12th, 2005, 19:51
Goldman Sachs said it confirmed with Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) that the company is unlikely to discontinue production of the Xbox videogame console with the launch of Xbox 2. Microsoft will provide a sneak peek of the Xbox 2 console on a television special on May 12 on MTV in North America and on May 13 internationally. "We had expected Xbox 2 to shown for the first time at the E3 videogaming conference in Los Angeles (May 17-20, 2005)," Goldman said. "This appears to be a tactical effort to show Xbox 2 before Sony (nyse: SNE - news - people ) demonstrates the PS3 [PlayStation 3 videogame console] at E3." The research firm, which rates Microsoft at "outperform," expects Xbox 2 to be available for retail sale in October or November at a retail price of about $249 to $299. Goldman said the Xbox console would cater to the lower-end of the consumer segment. The firm expects Microsoft to ship about 3 million units of the Xbox 2 worldwide in the December quarter. Sony is expected to debut the PS3 at E3, "although the product is not expected to be available in the U.S. until mid-2006 (perhaps a Japan launch in the fourth quarter of 2005 although more likely in the first quarter of 2006)," Goldman said.