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Microsoft's price drop a shot across Sony's bow in Europe
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 11 March 2008 11:18

Microsoft's price drop a shot across Sony's bow in Europe

By Ben Kuchera | Published: March 11, 2008 - 11:13AM CT
ARS Technica

While the Nintendo Wii is still comfortably outselling both Microsoft and Sony, the war for what could be second place has found a new home: Europe. Yesterday Microsoft announced that it would be cutting prices of the Xbox 360 hardware across the board in Europe. The Xbox 360 Premium is now €269.99/£199.99, the Elite €369.99/£259.99, and the Arcade €199.99/£159.99—a drop of €80/£50, €80/£40, and €80/£20, respectively. "Xbox 360 is now mass market in Europe," said Chris Lewis, the Vice President of Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business Europe. The price drop was arguably overdue, but the bigger news is that it could be a very direct threat to Sony's business in Europe.


Based on the estimates of EA, the PS3 sold 2.8 million units in Europe in 2007, with the Xbox 360 selling only 1.9 million. EA sees Sony making big moves in 2008, it estimates that Sony will move at leave 5 million units, while it only sees the Xbox 360 selling 1.5 million to 2 million systems. Compare that to the US, where in 2007 Microsoft sold 4.62 million units to Sony's 2.56 million. If Microsoft consistently wins the sales race in the US, and Sony handily beats the Xbox 360 in Japan, Europe may be one of the most important battlegrounds in this console war. Microsoft knows it. "Europe for us is still the swing," said Microsoft VP Jeff Bell in a recent Reuters interview. "The biggest challenge is that Sony as a brand has had greater staying power than in other areas. Not just PlayStation 3, but Sony as a brand."   [ARS Technica]   [Comments]


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