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In an interview with GameSpot down at the E3 video-game convention in Los Angeles this week, a Microsoft Xbox executive made an attention-grabbing statement about the Xbox 360, saying that the console has “a lot more than two years” of life left in it.

The quote from Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer doesn’t necessarily mean that Microsoft won’t be releasing a successor to the Xbox 360 next year. More likely it means Microsoft will keep selling the Xbox 360 in much the same way that Sony has continued to sell the PlayStation 2 years after the PS3 launch.

That speaks to the strong position that the Xbox 360 has established for itself in the console business, outselling the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii for the first time in head-to-head worldwide unit sales in 2011.

Of course, it’s in Microsoft’s interest at this point to talk about the staying power of the Xbox 360, so that people feel comfortable buying one now. The company this week unveiled a variety of new projects and extensions for the console, including a “SmartGlass” initiative that will connect the Xbox 360 to mobile devices such as Android and iPhone.
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