Can you hear that? It’s the heads of millions of console marketing executives exploding while attempting to get the edge on the competition in the race for GTA IV-fueled console sales. Microsoft seems to have stumbled across quite the remarkable strategy to gain such sales; a price drop! In the wake of last weeks events, the 360 saw its sales jump 40% in the weekend directly following. Dorian Block of GamesIndustry.biz sheds some light on what all these green arrows mean, “Xbox 360 is up 35-40 percent – that’s from Friday, when the price cut came into effect, up to midnight Saturday.” He continues, “Now it’s a question of Easter. The real litmus test will be over the next three to four weeks – it’s too early to read too much into it at this stage.”
Software sales for the Xbox didn’t benefit from the price drop in the same fashion, however, “That’s mainly because the week prior there were big new 360 releases like Army of Two, Bully and MX vs ATV,” Bloch explaines. Another theory may be that alot of customers are snapping up the cheaper systems in anticipation for GTA IV’s release. That’s certainly not a crazy thought, seeing as millions of folks snapped up PlayStation 2’s in the months directly following the release of GTA III. Whatever the case, bigger number are better of course and retail spokesperson Gennaro Castaldo feels the same way, “Generally the market as a whole lifted between 35-40 per cent and we were in line with that,” says Castaldo, “That’s obviously fairly significant, given we didn’t have too much time to communicate it to our consumers. So with a lot more of the marketing kicking in now we expect it to grow even more in the coming days and weeks.”
Basically what this all means is that if 360 sales continue on this trend as Microsoft and retailers hope it does, you may find it hard to find a system in time for your Easter gift exchange… if you’re into that sort of thing.