What's Killing Xbox 360 Sales?

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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What's Killing Xbox 360 Sales?

It may not surprise too many to hear, but despite the fact that, not too long ago, the Xbox 360 was seeing some pretty impressive holiday sales, the overall sales of the device are down. It's a pretty safe bet what's killing those sales, too, and everyone's looking squarely in June's direction.

Basically, the numbers that came out of Microsoft today all say the same thing: the Xbox 360 may be the best-selling game console of the 2012 Christmas shopping season, but it's still down significantly--about 25 percent--from the same time the previous year. The 2011 figures said that Microsoft had shipped fully 8.2 million Xbox 360 units, while in 2012, that number fell to 5.9 million.

The obvious explanation, of course, is E3. The chances of seeing the new Xbox--now said to be called the Xbox--at the June event are surprisingly high, especially given all that we've heard about it in recent days. So buying a device that is likely to get overmastered by its next version in just a few short months was probably short on a lot of lists.

But that's not the only consideration. Consider the ongoing weakness in the economy, increasing the likelihood that those interested in an Xbox 360 would turn to a used model instead. If more users are buying used models, that means Microsoft needs to ship fewer of them to meet demand. That allows players to get in the game for much, much less while at the same time allowing those who've tired of their old systems to go a different route.

Additionally, the sheer level of market saturation undoubtedly causes by the fact that the system has been commercially available for the better part of a decade means that new sales are just plain old less likely. Once you have an Xbox 360--especially now that these new ones are much less likely to suffer the "red ring" phenomenon--you probably don't need, or have interest in, a second.

Still, with the next E3 show on the horizon, and the chances looking bright for a new Xbox release, it's not too surprising to see Xbox 360 sales slow a bit. Hopefully we'll be seeing a new system ready to go in the coming months, and with it, a wide array of new games.
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