Xbox 360 sales drop 60% as Kaz Hirai’s pants dampen 80%

It’s been a grim few weeks for the Xbox 360. Despite extending the warranty by three years on all red ringed consoles, Microsoft still can’t shake the persisting issues with its faulty Xbox 360. To top it all off, like so much whispy froth perched upon one’s coffee, comes word that the SKU’s sales have now dropped 60% in the fiscal fourth quarter. 
Have sales peaked, or is it that the PR nightmare of red ringing, disc scratching, overheating 360s has just become too overwhelming a prospect for most customers? There’s no escaping the sordid stigma that the console now has. It is marked, as if by the very hand of El Diablo himself, where those already touched await the consequences, weeping softly at night for the day the red ringed finger of Lucifer singles them out while those still virginal to its seduction fear treading the scorched earth it doth walk. Every 360 is felt to be a console on death row and that’s not an image you need when you’re selling expensive equipment.
Even when Microsoft stops putting shoddy consoles on the market, the damage will have been done and it might take a while to restore confidence to consumers. All three consoles are now on the market and the intertia Microsoft enjoyed with an early launch is grinding to a halt. It’s hard to tell if the sales drop can be fully blamed for the sales slump, but considering the amount of people I’ve seen say words to the effect of, “I want a 360, but it’s just too risky,” it’s a very worthy culprit. What have you learned, Microsoft? Probably nothing.
[Via Information Week. Cheers to Joe. Yes, it’s a baked potato song.] 
Jim Sterling