Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bright future for Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 leads the console hardware race with an installed base of 22 million as of September 2008 that should reach 25 million sometime this month.

In addition to leading the hardware race, the Xbox 360 leads the way in third-party game sales, meaning that, aside from Microsoft-published first-party titles, more games are sold for the Xbox 360 than third-party titles for Nintendo's Wii or Sony's Playstation 3. This is important because it shows publishers of third-party games which console will provide the greatest return on their game development dollar.

An article in today's ars technica has great graphs that show this obvious advantage over the course of this year to-date. The number of third-party games in the top 10 for sales numbers each month over the past 10 months for the Xbox 360 exceeds the number of games in the top 10 for the Wii by over 6 times and the PS3 by over 2 times.

With the recent price cuts for the Xbox 360 bringing the base model to the magic $199 price point, the sales trends are sure to continue, with more non-gaming consumers willing to buy.

The release of Microsoft's "New Xbox Experience" this week on November 19 should help to broaden the appeal of the Xbox 360 beyond regular gamers. This update to the dashboard interface will have happy avatars, more community features and games, and the integration of Netflix downloaded movies, bringing the Xbox 360 much closer to the general-purpose set-top box that will appeal to media content companies as well as more general media consumers, not just gamers.

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