A survey of 10 Australian retail chains who operate over 2,000 stores reveals that the Microsoft XBox 360 is on the skids with the majority of the chains seeing their gaming growth coming from the Sony PS3 or the Nintendo Wii.
Conducted by ChannelNews and SmartHouse the research also revealed that the most crucial component in the gaming market in 2008 will be new software. Overall retailers said that the PS3 was selling well because it had a Blu ray drive and that the Nintendo Wii was appealling to both women and “Kids” because of it’s interactive capability.
The retailers claimed that the Xbox 360 as a brand had suffered from their “Ring of Death” problems in 2007 and that consumers did not see the Microsoft gaming console as “Value” when compared to the PS3 or the Nintendo Wii.
One major retailer said “Both the Sony PS3 and Nintendo Wii appeal to women and families and with Sony now winning the HD format war we can also sell the PS3 as a Blu ray player. This will allow us to also sell Blu ray content”.
Another Melbourne based retailer said “The Xbox 360 is dead. We are stocking it because of our relationship with Microsoft however all our energy and marketing is going into the PS3 and the Nintendo Wii unless Microsoft come up with something new or additional marketing dollars. Halo 3 was big on the Xbox but that was about it. They have tried discounting and value add offers and even that is not working. We are even thinking of dumping the console all together”.
Insiders still say that Microsoft is set to role out a Blu ray Xbox with one leading European gaming publisher who has an extremly close relationship with Microsoft telling ChannelNews that his organisation has already been shown a new Xbox console and that Microsoft is still considering a Blu ray drive.
At Sony the Company believes that comfortable price point has been reached for their consoles and recent GFK reports show that the PS2 and the PS3, been outpacing Xbox 360 lately in Australia, Blu-ray won, and there’s a plethora of exciting games both on the shelves and coming later this year the Company claims.
Scott Steinberg, VP of Product Marketing at SCEA in Europe, is excited about what’s been going on at Sony and what’s in store for PlayStation 3 in 2008.He told Game Pro recently.
“The software lineup is here. I think we’re at the point to say we’re ecstatic about what we have in 2008. It’s finally to the point where there are no standards uncertainties, so consumers now can evaluate us on the skills and attributes of our lineup, and we’ve got an incredibly diverse lineup,” he excited told GD.BIZ in a recent interview.
He’s equally enthused about the network.
“On the network side, we’ve stated that we’re in a closed beta now for Home, we’ll be rolling out functionality later this year, both for the Network and making Home public to others,” Steinberg added.
And as for Blu-ray’s victory over HD DVD, he said that “I think it’s a huge win and it gives us a lot of momentum and also gives us momentum to stop talking about standards and start talking about games.”