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Retailers predict price-led Xbox 360 sales surge

Cuts fuel demand boom

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Microsoft’s recent decision to cut the price of the Xbox 360 range will fuel UK sales, according to execs at some of Blighty’s biggest electronics retailers.

Tricia Brennan, MD of Game UK, said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz that the console’s new price points mean that all three models now appeal to a wider variety of consumers, from once-a-week gamers and to the hardcore set.

Steve O'Brien, from gaming stores Action Replay and Gameshop, told the site that the Xbox 360’s new lower pricing puts it at a distinct advantage over the PlayStation 3.

"I think there is sufficient light between the two price points now for 360 to steal a significant percentage of the 'undecided' market, and that will undoubtedly impact on Sony's sales," he forecast.

Jonathan Hayes, Commercial Manager at HMV Games, hinted that the price cuts could spur a surge in demand akin to that seen for Halo 3 last year. At the time, Microsoft claimed that the title was the world’s fastest selling videogame, notching up sales in excess of $300m (£150m/€190m) during its first week.

However, Hayes warned that the PS3 and Xbox 360 are still different products and so will appeal to different audiences irrespective of cost. For example, film fans will opt for the PS3 because of its Blu-ray reader, while hardcore gamers will choose whichever console has their favourite title exclusively.

The Xbox 360 cut – which takes effect from today – means that the Arcade model now costs £130/€180 and that the Premium model has an RRP of £170/€240. The flagship Elite has been reduced to £230/€300.

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