Screen Digest has today issued a report claiming that the Xbox 360 has hit a ‘brick wall’ in terms of European sales, hurt by its current inability to appeal outside of the adult male market. It’s a common criticism that the Xbox 360 only serves shooting games and this perception of the console as a one trick software pony is also being blamed for the current downturn. “The target market is still too focused on adult males and the brand does not enjoy the same cachet in non-Anglo Saxon markets as it does in the US and, to a lesser extent, the UK,” the report suggests. “The FPS / shooter genre is well served on the Xbox 360 with numerous high quality titles, so satisfying the adult male demographic is not a concern, but failing to break out of a small number of genres and thereby appealing to groups outside of hardcore gamers is.”
In addition to criticizing the 360, the report also talks about Nintendo’s Wii, stating that the lack of hardware supplies which has affected the market since day one is still of concern, but talks about an upcoming strong summer lineup of games and an enthusiastic market. The Wii, however, is not the winner here. The applause is reserved for none other than the world’s favorite console, the PlayStation 3.
“The PS3 has reached 1 million sales in PAL territories according to SCEE. A price drop before year end is becoming inevitable and would be in line with previous PlayStation first time price reduction timings. This is certainly what is needed to boost sales however the education of consumers as to what is in the box and what its benefits are has not been forthcoming from Sony.
Most publishers European management teams feel that the PS3 will win out, especially in Europe where the brand still appears to be impregnable.”
With regards to the Xbox 360, it should be noted that the realease of the Elite model seemed to have a positive impact of US sales while the PS3 faltered soon after. With a very pro-Sony European market, that’s not to say such an occurance would happen again and a shift in the balance of power isn’t out of the question. Much of this is just conjecture at the moment and I personally feel that the true war between the 360 and PS3 won’t come until that fabled price drop hits. Then, the gloves are off.
[Joooooooe Buuuuuuuurling is to be thanked]