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An executive from Microsoft Corp. said that the Xbox 360 video game console demonstrated unprecedented market performance in November following price-cuts in Europe. According to the claims, the Xbox 360 became even more popular than Sony PlayStation 3, despite of the Sony brand strength in Europe.

“November was a very significant milestone for Xbox – we sold the most consoles ever in our history in Europe, and are outselling PlayStation 3 week-on-week across Europe," said Chris Lewis, regional vice president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business in EMEA (Europe, Middle-East, Africa) region.

According to GfK Chart-Track, sales of Microsoft Xbox 360 were up 124% year-over-year in November, while Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 posted 43% and 3% sales increase last month, respectively. GfK-ChartTrack data shows that the console outsold PlayStation 3 across the entire region and in particular has seen significant gains in markets like France, Spain and Italy, where it has been outselling PlayStation 3 week after week.

“Since the reduction in the Xbox 360 ERP in September, bringing the entry-level price point for Xbox 360 down to £129.99 (€149, $192), consumers have responded enthusiastically to the Xbox 360 offering. Our strong partnerships with retail and with publishers have played a big role in this success – we are working closely with retail to ensure a steady supply of consoles throughout the Christmas season, and third-party games have been selling well on the Xbox 360 platform and providing great choice for consumers,” Mr. Lewis added.

Despite of exceptional strength of Sony in the European Union, since the price of the PlayStation 3 remains considerably higher compared to entry-level Xbox 360 console or Nintendo Wii system, which is why sales of the PS3 stagnate or grow very slowly, while the demand towards more reasonably-priced X360 or Wii increases since consumers are looking forward to cut their spending.

“In the current economic conditions, consumers are more cautious than ever and looking for more value for their entertainment spend. Xbox 360 delivers that value – we are now the best-value next-gen console on the market and this positive momentum indicates Xbox 360 is offering the right blend of gaming and entertainment experiences at the right price,” Microsoft VP claims.

Despite of economic slump, sales of all three new-generation game consoles increased year-over-year in November in the region, which is a good news for the whole market. As in-home entertainment becomes more important for consumers, who are reducing their going-out activities, the demand towards video games will only increase and all three console vendors, including Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, will benefit from it.

“Even under the current economic conditions European consumers are spending strongly on games as we reach the mass adoption phase of this cycle of consoles. This Christmas we expect console game sales to outperform last year by a substantial margin, which is a boost for the whole industry. Consumers recognize that games offer a strong value proposition compared to many other forms of entertainment and this is being reflected at the tills,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, senior games analyst at media research company Screen Digest.

According to Microsoft, Xbox 360 has sold more than seven million consoles in Europe since its launch in November 2005.

Tags: Microsoft, Xbox, Sony, Playstation, Nintendo, Wii

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