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XBox 360 Continues to do well in Japan: What Does it Mean?

50°
303w ago - The Xbox 360 has once again beaten out the PlayStation 3 in Japan. This has been a continuing trend in the Japanese markets, ever since the 360's price cut a few weeks ago.

Though the Wii and Nintendo DS have more than double Microsoft's sales, the fact that the 360 is moving forward looks promising. But what does it mean for Microsoft and gamers?

Let's consider the facts:

1. The Xbox 360 price cut has already bolstered sales in Japan, and rumors have it that Microsoft may cut the price of the 360 Elites even further, as well. We saw what two weeks of sales did for Microsoft. Of course, those sales were not only helped by the price cut, but also by the release of Tales of Vesperia and Infinite Undiscovery, two exclusives for the 360.

Now that the immediate surge is over, the 360 has once again fallen to fourth place in Japanese sales (behind the DS, Wii and PSP). Yet hopefully, this next round of price cuts should once again raise the 360's sales.

2. Much of the reason behind the Xbox 360's drop in sales in the past two weeks seems to have been due to Microsoft's failure to meet the demand for the 360. Corporate Vice President, John Schappert, told Reuters: "We've done better than we forecast. We are finding that we have a shortage of hardware."...
 

New XBox 360 Motherboards Could Mean Less Crashes

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304w ago - For Xbox 360 users, the so-called red ring of death is a worst-case scenario that can cause nightmares about total system failure and the inability to play any more Halo 3.

Since the introduction of the console, in late 2005, some users have suffered through a well-documented series of quality control problems and some have endured system failures on machine after machine after machine.

Microsoft has attempted to handle the problems--and last year extended the warranty for the machine, leading some to feel that, at the very least, they would be covered if they got the three red rings around their console's power button that indicate total hardware crash.

All along, the problem has been blamed on the Xbox's original motherboard, a poorly designed piece of electronics that in many cases simply wasn't up to the rigors that users put the machine through. But there had been indications that help was on the way in the form of an all-new motherboard, at once smaller, more efficient, less likely to overheat and less expensive, known as "Jasper."

Now, according to Xbox expert Dean Takahashi at Venture Beat, Jasper-infused Xboxes are finally being spotted out there in the wilds of the marketplace. And...
 

Analysis: What a 360 Price Cut Means for Wii and PS3

100°
317w ago - A purported Kmart ad began tearing through the Internet last week, showing a "new low price" of $299 for the 20GB Xbox 360 Pro model, and a July 6 shelf date. Such a price tag suggests a $50 price drop for the Xbox 360 model even before the E3 Media and Business Summit, taking place a week later. While Microsoft won't confirm the price drop, gaming sites are abuzz with speculation.

Now, five top industry analysts have told Next-Gen that they believe an Xbox 360 price drop is not only imminent, but likely required if Microsoft intends to fend off competition from rival PS3.

"We believe Sony will be forced to follow suit [with their own price cut], although we suspect they may wait a little bit," said Arvind Bhatia with Stern Agee. "A price cut sometime between July and September is possible [for PS3]."

A price cut would expectedly increase the PS3's installed base, and create an opportunity to sell more high-margin software to offset hardware losses. But still, a reactive PS3 price cut may go against the PlayStation businesses' recently restated "profitability first" mantra. For now, Sony will wait and see how an Xbox 360 price cut will affect PS3 sales and share, says Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian.

"In the event of decelerating PS3 unit sales trends, we...
 
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