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NPD Reaction: Microsoft Touts Console And Xbox Live Sales Increases
NPD Reaction: Microsoft Touts Console And Xbox Live Sales Increases
April 17, 2009 | By Christian Nutt

April 17, 2009 | By Christian Nutt
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More: Console/PC



In its monthly NPD U.S. game sales reaction email, Microsoft has trumpeted that its console is the only one on the market to experience year-on-year growth, while noting that Xbox Live downloads have more than doubled from the same period a year ago.

The console sold 330,000 units in the U.S. in March 2009 -- a 25% year-over-year increase, and according to Microsoft, one that flies in the face of its competitors' "double-digit declines".

The company has also revealed that the number of Xbox Live users paying for content on the service has more than doubled since this time last year, with 128% growth in unique users purchasing XBL content -- be it use of Netflix, other video, games, or DLC.

Microsoft has also revealed that the first three months of the year have seen 220% increase in DLC purchases, led by Grand Theft Auto IV and Fallout 3, as well as its own shooter titles Gears of War 2 and Halo 3.

According to its internal numbers, there has been a 62% increase in downloadable game add-ons compared to the same period last year, with 516 pieces of game content released via Xbox Live for 63 titles.

Microsoft can claim three of the top 10 games of the month -- with the overall number one game Resident Evil 5 on its platform; the title's PlayStation 3 version placed fourth. Platform-exclusive first-party RTS Halo Wars placed third, while 2K Sports' Major League Baseball 2K9 placed 10th overall, notably behind Sony's MLB '09: The Show, which slotted in at sixth.

In its email, Microsoft also claims a top 10 appearance with Guitar Hero Metallica, which disagrees with the official chart as released by the NPD Group -- the game does not appear in its official top 10 at all. Microsoft has clarified with Gamasutra that it disregards sales of handheld games to formulate its top 10 -- which strips out third-placed Pokemon Platinum and slots in GH: Metallica at #10.


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Comments


John Palamarchuk
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This same time last year the Xbox Live Arcade SKU was 279 USD. Now you can find it on sale every couple weeks at Dell for $169. I should hope sales have increased year over year after dropping the price of the console almost by half in one year!

Kevin Jones
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@John Palamarchuk: "Now you can find it on sale every couple weeks at Dell for $169. I should hope sales have increased year over year after dropping the price of the console almost by half in one year"



Nice piece of exageration and spinning you got going there haven't ya?

First of all, every single brick and mortar retailer (where by far most 360 sales take place), is selling the Arcade for $199.990, not $169. Even when you come online, the biggest online retailer Amazon.com has always sold the Arcade for $199.99.

Second of all, even Dell only does these promotions from time to time, not always.

An $80 price cut from $280 to $200 only gives you a 28.57% reduction in price, not an "almost half" drop in price like you glibbly claimed.

David Brownfield
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Actually, you can very often find the 360 at this price on certain "deal catching" and "tech bargaining" sites, but it's simply because Dell often offers a % off coupon good on gaming consoles/accessories that almost always work on both 360 and PS3 (or at least this used to be the case). I doubt that the extra 15% (30 dollar) drop is what is fueling the increase in 360 sales, since you can usually use that coupon on the PS3 as well. It is certainly logical that the total price drop across the board has helped the 360, but keep in mind that they are selling many systems at 299 as well, which is much more attractive to consumers than the 399 of a year or so ago. Hitting the 199 price point was key, but those Dell coupons have likely had only a minimal impact, as they are often limited to a certain number of uses (3000 to 7000), or at least they were when I worked there.

Kevin Jones
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@ David Brownfield

No one is saying that price cuts didn't contribute to higher 360 sales this year. After all, it was precisely to incresae sales that Microsoft cut the Arcade price to a more mass market price of $200. What I am quibbling with is the "dropping the price of the console almost by half in one year" bit. Let's not get carried away here

No matter how you look at it, the 360 price was not cut by 50%.



Elite: Price cut from $450 to $400 = 11% price cut

Pro : Price cut from $350 to $300 = 14% price cut

Arcade: Cut from $280 to $200 = 28.5% price cut

Even if you take account of price promotion deals from Dell(which accounts for a tiny percentage of console sales in America) you are not even close to a 50% price cut. .

As far as I know, Gamestop, the biggest video game retailer in the country, has never sold the Arcade at $169 before (at least i have never seen. them do it).


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