conference call, Activision's president Mike Griffith offered the company's outlook on hardware sales for 2009. "For calendar year 2009, we expect the installed base of hardware in North America and Europe will be up eight million units for the PS3 and up eight million units for the Xbox 360," Griffith said. The company believes that "more than 16 million" Wiis will be sold in 2009.
He was somewhat less specific about portable hardware, saying only that the combined installed base of portable systems "will grow in excess of 21 million units." We can guess as to which hardware the company believes to have the most growth potential: the PSP, hampered by its seeming inability to support Guitar Hero, was the least profitable platform for Activision, comprising only 1% of its 2008 profits. The Wii topped that list at 15%.
The Blizzard arm of Activision Blizzard also offered portents for the future: Blizzard COO Paul Sams said that "Blizzard intends on delivering one frontline release per year. I think you can see in our numbers that that is contemplated." The company currently has StarCraft II and Diablo III in the works, as well as the guaranteed hit Whatever the Next World of WarCraft Expansion Is.