If Bill Gates wants to promote Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) next Xbox, who's he gonna call? That's right, Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) MTV. (If you shouted Ghostbusters, you might want to lay off the '80s for a while.)

According to a press release, the music-video channel has been given the ring by Mr. Softy. In what amounts to a 30-minute infomercial, a program titled MTV Presents: The Next Generation Xbox Revealed will be broadcast around the globe on May 12 and May 13. The release describes the program as "high-energy," and I actually have no doubt that it will be. These kinds of promotional documents are notorious for hyperbole, but I have to say, MTV's ability to create slick and exciting marketing vehicles is a proven mechanism. Elijah Wood -- hero to the current music/movie generation because he still has heat from the Lord of the Rings juggernaut -- will host, which is smart, considering that the video games based on that property have been popular; also, a presumably hip band called The Killers will supply some tunes (can't say I'm completely familiar with them, as I'm still stuck in the era of Cheap Trick). The format sounds great, but I would suggest one element: Take a tour of Bill Gates' crib and have him dressed like Eminem. That's sure to be a keeper image.

In all seriousness, Microsoft is smart to hook up with MTV because the channel reaches the exact demographic the company needs to drive the early sales of the second Xbox. Months later, other kinds of users will be enticed by price cuts, but in the beginning, it's the skateboarding, Sunday-Stew-watching teens who need to be won over. In fact, I think it's easy to predict that the new Xbox is going to be the king of the holiday season (many observers believe that the console will launch this fall, although nothing is set in stone just yet). And consumers will, of course, have to put up with the shortages that accompany any launch of this nature, thus increasing demand.

I recently talked about the beginning of the hype for the Xbox, so it's no surprise that Microsoft is moving fast in getting the word out. Keep in mind, though, that whatever momentum Xbox captures upon its debut is going to be tested mightily by the release of the third PlayStation unit by Sony (NYSE:SNE), which most likely will occur sometime in 2006. The PSP has been doing gangbuster business, so the brand value is still there, and one has to believe that the MTV audience might even be more interested in this console (although personal experience tells me that Xbox is gaining in the mindshare department).

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned.