Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gamespot Article: Microsoft scaling down 360 sales in India;title;4

"Report: Microsoft scaling down 360 sales in India

Lacklustre sales of the console in the country has led the company to begin withdrawing from the market, according to Money Control India.

By Emma Boyes, GameSpot UK

Posted May 21, 2008 7:45 am PT

The Xbox 360 launched in India on September 25, 2006 with the standard console (now called Premium) selling for 23,990 rupees ($561), and the Core (which came without a hard drive) for 19,990 rupees ($465). For the console's debut, Bollywood heartthrob Akshay Kumar and cricketer Yuvraj Singh were enlisted to feature in an advert promoting the new console.

However, the venture didn't really go as planned, according to a report in Money Control India. From the article, "The company has been facing dismal sales already due to sloppy customer support, high hardware failure, and pirated games. While Microsoft games cost upwards of 2,500 rupees [$58] each, [they are] easily available on the grey market for 100 rupees [$2]."

Also, India is one of the few regions in which the Xbox 360 has not yet been given a price cut, despite up to 20 percent being lopped off of the price in other Asian regions including Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore.

The news Web page cites "sources" as confirming that Microsoft has withdrawn from several tier-one cities across India due to disappointing sales, and Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division has also withdrawn its marketing budget for the current fiscal year.

It also states that the marketing head of the same Entertainment and Devices division of Microsoft India, Ashim Mathur, is set to leave the company, following on from the departure of country manager Mohit Anand.

Microsoft India denied this, and commented, "The Microsoft Entertainment Devices Division is very much on track with its targeted business plans." Microsoft did not return calls from GameSpot to comment as of press time. "

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