Friday, 10 July 2009 08:28

Xbox thumbs nose at global financial crisis

With sales up 83 percent and more Xbox 360’s than ever connected to Xbox LIVE it looks as though the GFC is driving people to interactive home entertainment until the financial gloom clears.  And Microsoft is lovin’ it.

Word has come through from Microsoft.  It is, well more than one word, that if financial of nature and unlike so many words of this type in this climate, they are largely positive words.

Apparently, the Australian/New Zealand financial year was a pretty good one for Xbox down-under.

Here are some of the numbers that go with the words: Australians and New Zealanders looking for an affordable family entertainment experience during the current global financial situation clocked up a huge 101 million hours on Xbox LIVE during the 2009 financial year. In addition, the number of consoles connected to Xbox LIVE jumped by 73 per cent and the Xbox 360 experienced console sales growth of 83 per cent year on year to date in 2009, making it the fastest growing console in the total market. (Gfk Australian data Jan-Jun 2008 versus Jan-June 2009)

Nearly 400,000 Aussies and Kiwis have connected to the Xbox LIVE network, with each user averaging five hours online each week, connecting with friends, squaring off in multiplayer games and downloading music tracks for hit titles like Lips and Guitar Hero .Compared to the same period last year, Xbox LIVE content downloads increased by 39 per cent, with over 6.4 million downloads of free game demos, trailers and other content occurring in the last 12 months.

These sorts of positive word undoubtedly make some people happy, and nobody could be happier than Head of Microsoft Entertainment in Australia/NZ, David McLean.

“The July toy sales offered by the major retailers give cash-strapped families a great opportunity to plan their Christmas spending well ahead of time,” McLean said. “During the July sales retailers offer consumers layby which reaches into the Christmas period meaning now is an ideal time to make a smart purchase that doesn’t hit the hip pocket all in one go.”

“Before Christmas, Xbox 360 users will have access to high definition movies-on-demand, Facebook, Twitter and a host of other features through our console. This will give families even greater freedom to share, socialise and interact online, as some of the world’s largest social networks move from the PC to the TV, and into the heart of the family living space,”
McLean concluded.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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