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Posts with tag console wars

MS fails to meet 12 million mark

Microsoft announced at the beginning of this year that it had reduced its shipment goal for the fiscal year to 12 million units, down from 13-15 million units. Speaking to about the new 360 warranty, Peter Moore has confirmed that Microsoft has missed the target of 12 million units. The company has sold roughly 11.6 million units, missing its goal by 400,000 units. Despite this, Moore states that Microsoft feels "really good" about the state of the Xbox. In particular, he emphasizes Microsoft's holiday lineup, and notes that it will be featured heavily at E3 next week.

Exclusives: Sony's loss, Microsoft's gain

Chris Kohler of Wired magazine recently took a moment to list exclusives that Sony has lost to Microsoft. Perhaps the most intriguing titles on the list are GTAIV and Assassin's Creed, both of which were offered as exclusives to Sony. Sony didn't pursue the titles as exclusives, and two major titles became simultaneous releases for multiple platforms. Another interesting story is Beautiful Katamari which began as a mutliplatform title and is now slated only for Xbox 360. Finally, according to the article, Metal Gear Solid 4 on 360 is only a matter of time. The article is a decent read and serves as a good conversation starter (without even considering once Sony-only franchises like Ace Combat). It begs the question: are console exclusives as important as they once were?

Continue reading Exclusives: Sony's loss, Microsoft's gain

European 360 sales "have hit a wall"

According to Screen Digest (as reported by Xbox 360 sales in Europe "have hit a wall." The report notes that the Xbox 360 thus far has failed to reach outside its typical demographic of adult males (surprise!). The report also states that the Xbox 360 brand image does not hold up nearly as well in "non-Anglo Saxon markets." Judging from disappointing sales (and advertising) in markets like Japan, it's hard to disagree with that assessment. Screen Digest concludes that Microsoft must make an effort to break free of the limited number of (notably hardcore) genres associated with the Xbox 360. Still, it's not all bad, as the article does mention that many of the year's most anticipated titles will be on the 360 this holiday season, and Xbox Live remains "a beacon of hope."

Would any of our European readers care to comment on the state of the 360 in your area?

[Via Evil Avatar]

Haze 360 removed from Ubisoft release list

Hey, remember back when Haze was a timed exclusive for the Playstation 3? Remember that other time when Ubisoft revealed its release schedule for Holiday 07 and Haze 360 was dated only a week after the PS3 version? We hope you do remember, because it looks like Ubisoft is trying to rewrite history. The release list, revealed only yesterday, has since been revised, removing the 360 and PC versions of Haze altogether. Joystiq points out, and so must we, that this series of events has an eerie symmetry to the initial mystery surrounding the 360 version of Assassin's Creed. Again, Ubisoft refuses to directly answer questions regarding PS3 exclusivity, saying only that the PS3 is "the only confirmed platform."

Will history repeat itself? Is Haze destined to appear as though it were a PS3 exclusive title? Perhaps more interesting, assuming that the game is coming to 360, is maintaining the illusion of exclusivity really important?

Motley Fool tells MS to get its act together

Adding himself to the ever-growing pool of Xbox 360 failure coverage, Seth Jayson of The Motley Fool is warning investors that the Xbox 360's failure rates could hurt its future growth. After receiving the dreaded Ring of Death himself (and some faulty Zunes), Jayson has some fighting words for Microsoft. Of particular note, is the statement that the actual failure rates aren't as important as the perceived failure rates. In other words, the stories of multiple failed Xbox 360s are much louder than Microsoft's claims that failure rates are within the acceptable standard. Jayson admits that, when functional, the Xbox 360 is a topnotch game player and an excellent media hub to boot, but if the public perceives it as faulty, then Microsoft stands the chance of "alienating potential customers and crimping future growth." In conclusion, Jayson notes that Microsoft must address these basic hardware issues before it can effectively execute its plans for new-gen dominance.

What do you think? Do you know anyone who was swayed from getting an Xbox 360 based on failure horror stories?

Microsoft contemplates a 360 price cut

In an interview with Bloomberg, Peter Moore and others discuss the Xbox 360 demographic, how they want to target moms and their kids, and hint at a possible 360 price cut. "If we don't make that move, make it early and expand our demographic, we will wind up in the same place as with Xbox 1" Moore says, and what better way to move more consoles than with a price cut. Director of Xbox product management David Hufford reinforces this thinking by stating that "we (Microsoft) are well aware that the sweet spot of the market is really 199 bucks" and that "when mom walks into the store and sees she can get a console with a game for $250, she sees it as a $300 value". It really sounds like Microsoft gets it.

But will we be seeing a Xbox 360 price drop this year or just a game bundle? We can't be sure, but we know Microsoft is cut throat about gaining ground in the console wars this generation and a price drop would help significantly. They just have to make sure their pocketbooks can handle more losses, but we're sure Bill would be willing to co-sign.

[Via CVG]

MS responds to Fils-Aime's claim

So, Reggie Fils-Aime voiced his opinion on the 360's sales in Europe, and Microsoft wasn't going to just sit and listen to such statements. They came back to say that they are on track to meet their 12 million shipped worldwide milestone by the end of June 2007, having shipped 10.4 million back in December. They also pointed out that the 6 million Xbox Live users worldwide is nothing to scoff at either. Still, it will be interesting to see how things stack up after the other two consoles have been on the market for a year.

It's a gaming sing along! How to Kill a Brand [update 1]

We try and bring you interesting Xbox 360 related news without all that fanboy hatred. You know, we're the popular kids on the playground without being nasty and making fun of our peers. But when we stumble across a YouTube video that blends console humor, interesting lyrics, and a guy singing in tune ... we just have to let you know about it. Think of it as a tribute to all next generation gaming systems from all walks of life and a chance to celebrate your fanboy'ism. So, without further ado, we present to you the above music video "How to Kill a Brand" by Doc Adams.

Update 1: Fixed our adieu so it was more like ado.

[Via Joystiq, Thanks, Free420]

360 eats electricity. A lot of it

The crew at HCW decided to compare the power consumption of all three major consoles. Just for good measure, they threw in a mid-range PC as well. The overall conclusion, both the Xbox 360 and PS3 suck up almost as much juice as a PC. The Wii, on the other hand, sips lightly on its electricity like a vacationing retiree drinking a mai tai. It's worth noting that the PS3 does consume more power than the 360. During DVD playback, the Xbox 360 uses somewhat less than the PC or the PS3, though HCW notes that 360 playback quality is low and the machine itself is noisy.

Does any of this really matter? Nope, but it's interesting nonetheless, and it's sure to give fanboys some fuel for the forums. HCW will be comparing other aspects of the consoles in the coming weeks. We'll keep you posted.

[Via Joystiq]

The state of the Xbox 360 in India

Last month, it was reported that the Xbox 360 was doing very well in India, despite the fact that an Xbox 360 costs more than many Indians make in a month., an Indian gaming site, decided to dig a little deeper. Game Guru surveyed a total of 123 Xbox 360 dealers in India to uncover as much information as they could. Having contacted Microsoft, Game Guru was told only that Microsoft does not reveal regional sales numbers; they like to keep their numbers global. From their sample, a total of 839 Xbox 360s had been sold, with the majority of those systems being the Premium version (keep in mind, this was a limited survey and not all dealers were willing to reveal their sales numbers). Unsurprisingly, the console sold better in more affluent regions of India.

Overall, anecdotal evidence suggests that Indians prefer the PS2. Not exactly shocking, considering the PS2 is substantially cheaper. Also worth noting, pirated PS2 games are readily available in India, whereas pirated 360 titles are not. While it seems that Indians are generally impressed with the 360 when they see it displayed, it seems that the machine is just too expensive for the average Indian.

Do we have any Indian readers that would care to comment?

PS3 kiosk, can you spot the 360?

The image above was snapped by Flickr user, hiredgoon. The photo was taken in a Harvey Norman store, an electronics chain based in Australia. It seems innocuous enough. Just an ordinary PS3 display to promote the machine for pre-order. Nothing special, right? That's what we thought, too. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Continue reading PS3 kiosk, can you spot the 360?

Activision: 360, PS3, and Wii tie in 2007

During Activision's recent financial results conference call, CEO Robert Kotick announced Activision's projections for 2007 console sales for North America. Griffith noted that the company expects the PS3, Wii, and our beloved 360 will all sell 4 million units. Effectively, this means the Xbox 360 will maintain it's lead over its new gen competition, at least according to Activision. Key titles for Activision's profitable 2006 include popular 360 titles like Call of Duty 3, Tony Hawk's Project 8, and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Call of Duty 3, as our readers will know, has been a mainstay on Xbox Live for quite some time.

It's clear that Activision sees a bright future for the 360. We have to wonder if they were looking at the pre-order numbers for Guitar Hero II when they made this prediction.

[Via Xbox-Scene]

Japan: What can Microsoft Do? do? do?

While those in the west see the Xbox 360 a definite success (so far), Japan is a completely different story. Having only sold 300,000 units throughout the first year in its lifespan, the 360 has a long way to go in the land of the rising sun. Gamasutra sits down with a localization specialist and Kotaku's Japanese correspondent to discuss Microsoft's prospects in Japan. The prognosis: it needs work. While the two disagree on a few points (the localization director sees the glass half-empty, whereas the other sees it half-full) the overall picture is somewhat grim. The Xbox 360 has been gaining some ground in the past few months. Titles like Blue Dragon (and to a lesser extent Gears of War) have helped generate 360 sales, but it's not nearly enough to gain a decent market share. Microsoft's biggest hurdle will be penetrating the culture barrier and understanding Japanese consumers (and apparently Do! do! do! isn't cutting it).

With more Japanese titles on the way (namely Lost Odyssey), Microsoft better get its marketing crew in gear if they want to stand a chance in Japan. If MS can get a foothold in Japan, it means more variety for everyone, and that's always a good thing.

[Via Xbox-Scene]

Reduced 360 target causes VG stock dip

Resulting from Microsoft's lowered shipment target for the Xbox 360, several video game makers saw their stocks fall today. THQ, Take-Two, Electronic Arts, and Activision have all dropped, with THQ falling the farthest (4.7%). The stock drop comes after Microsoft announced that it had reduced its Xbox 360 shipment targets from 13-15 million units to 12 million units. Analyst PJ McNealy notes, "There is investor concern about a re-set of expectations around both the Xbox 360 and the Sony PlayStation 3."

We find the all around stock decrease interesting, as another analyst, Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital Markets, expects that Microsoft's shipment reduction will have a negligible effect on software sales (though it does make the possibility of a 360 price cut unlikely).

It will be interesting to see how the market reacts when Sony makes its financial report on Tuesday.

[Via Joystiq]

Early 2007 price cut for 360 "unlikely"

According to an analyst for Lazard Capital Markets, a price cut for the Xbox 360 in early 2007 is "unlikely." One of the primary motivating factors for this is Microsoft's recently revised shipment forecast. After announcing that revenues were up, Microsoft altered its Xbox 360 shipment forecast from 13 to 15 million units to 12 million units by the end of fiscal 2007 -- this works out to approximately 1.5 million consoles by June 30th. With the shipment estimate reduced, it doesn't make sense for Microsoft to cut the 360 price and damage its prospects for profitability. While a price cut is not imminent, the analyst did not rule out the possibility of promotional bundles, though this depends partly on the performance of Sony and Nintendo's new consoles.

So there you have it, don't expect a price cut any time soon.

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