XBox Facts and Figures pt2

XBox Facts and Figures pt2 XBox Facts and Figures pt2

The holiday season went well for Microsoft, as far as XBox sales are concerned, proving that the price cut/bundle deals were just the right approach to the season. Microsoft however, wanted to maintain sales momentum even after the holiday season, something which, in the past, has poved exremely difficult. The company released figures which demonstrate that, at least in North America, XBox sales are still going strong. In the facts and figures released, MS continue to compare XBox Live sales to PS2's network adapter but fail to do the same for console sales. In any case the figures are there and do show that in North America XBox is beginning to build quite a lead from GameCube in the No. 2 position.

According to NPD Group/NPD Funworld, Xbox maintained a 24 per cent next-generation market share in January, double the share of Nintendo's GameCube system.

It's always nice to know that gamers agree with us in thinking that Xbox is a fabulous machine and a great entertainment value, said Robbie Bach, senior vice president and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. After 15 months on the market, we're right on target with our business plan and will continue to provide the best interactive experiences possible.

With January sales, Xbox increased its cumulative software-to-hardware attach rate to an impressive 4.9 units, the highest for any next-generation console after 15 months on the market. In addition, the Xbox Live service continues to excite gamers around the world. Microsoft has now sold 44 per cent more Xbox Live starter kits than Sony has sold of its PS2 network adapters during their first three months in the market.

The biggest noise in the month of January was made by Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, the highly anticipated title from Tecmo Inc., developed exclusively for Xbox. Released on Jan. 22, DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball immediately became the month's No. 1 selling Xbox title, selling as many units in 10 days as GameCube consoles sold during the entire month. When the game launched in Japan during the same period, it rose to the No. 2 bestseller position across all platforms for the week with just two days of sales behind it (Media Create Co. Ltd.).

We're glad that the DOA franchise continues to be a strong force behind the success of Xbox, said John Inada, general manager of Tecmo. Following the success of our million-selling Xbox launch title Dead or Alive 3, we were confident that the loyal fans of the DOA series would embrace DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball in full force. Combine the high-level gameplay and compelling game concept with the best machine and you really can't lose.

Xbox continued to capitalize on its momentum coming out of the recent holiday by outselling GameCube on console sales by a 2-to-1 margin in January, the widest variance in the past eight months. Moreover, after four months on the market, the Xbox holiday offer, which includes an Xbox system, a new controller and two free Sega games for USD199, proved to be a huge hit with consumers. The Xbox holiday offer outsold the Nintendo Mario Bundle by a margin of more than 3 to 1.

Overall, the strength of Xbox helped propel the industry to a stellar January performance. Next-generation hardware sales increased 26 per cent year over year, while software sales rose an astounding 46 per cent.

There has been a lot of speculation regarding exactly how well XBox did over the holiday season. More specifically it is very interesting to see how this past Christmas season has influenced the balance between GameCube and XBox, the two main competitors for the No. 2 console position. In order to clarify things Microsoft have released the full facts and figures behind the holiday season. As with every news story however, the facts and figures are open to interpretation, the press release was issued by Microsoft but does quote independent surveys, readers are encouraged to use the facts in order to draw their own conclusions.

One year ago, the Xbox( video game system was the new kid on the block. Microsoft have now confirmed that Xbox was a top holiday seller and is now firmly entrenched in the No. 2 market position in the United States and Europe. According to the NPD Funworld TRSTS December 2002, Xbox significantly widened the gap between the competition, established itself as the clear No. 2 video game platform and brought the overall next-generation market share for Xbox to 24 per cent. Xbox console sales in December had a year-over-year growth of 48 pe rcent, which was the highest among all next-generation platforms for the month according to the NPD data. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Xbox also won additional market share, bringing the European share of Xbox to 19 per cent (ChartTrack and GfK, November 2002).

We are very pleased by the holiday results. Xbox is the next-generation video game system of choice and the clear No. 2 across the United States, Canada and throughout Europe, said Robbie Bach, senior vice president of Microsoft and chief Xbox officer. With the popularity of Xbox Live, more than 300 games in development and more than 200 titles on the market, we expect to continue to gain market share from long-time console makers.

December was the largest selling month for Xbox consoles ever, beating the previous record month, November 2001, by 43 per cent (NPD TRSTS, December 2002). Also according to the data, December was the largest month ever for Xbox software sales, beating the previous record month, December 2001, by 80 per cent. Xbox also enjoyed a nearly 4.8 attach rate, the highest for any next-generation console after 14 months in the market. Moreover, Xbox sold the most software of any next-generation system after 14 months in the market. Finally, the Xbox Live service continued to be a major hit at retail in December, selling 70 per cent more Xbox Live Starter Kits in the first two months than the PlayStation 2 network adaptor sold in its first two months.

Clearly popular with consumers, the Xbox game portfolio has been a huge success both for Microsoft-published games as well as third-party publishing partners. Game titles are selling best on Xbox. Of the top 20 multiplatform titles, the Xbox versions are attaching on an average of 70 per cent more than those for PlayStation 2. In addition, third-party publishers continue to fare much better on Xbox. Life-to-date, these partners have sold 56 per cent more units on Xbox than they have for GameCube. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, from Ubi Soft, is not only the No. 1 Xbox title and No. 4 title overall in the U.S. market, it is now the second-highest selling Xbox title ever in the United States. Splinter Cell outsold GameCube's Metroid by 19 per cent in the first two months of sales.

'Splinter Cell' for Xbox continues to fly off retailers' shelves across North America and Europe, said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing, Ubi Soft Entertainment. It's been a phenomenal holiday for us on Xbox, and we are eager to replicate the great success of 'Splinter Cell' with more Ubi Soft games on Xbox.

It was admittedly a challenging retail environment for the entire game industry this holiday, but Xbox overdelivered in every way. It was all we could do to keep our shelves stocked with the Xbox Live Starter Kit and copies of games like 'Splinter Cell,' 'MechAssault' and 'Ghost Recon,' said Dan Dematteo, president of GameStop Inc. What's even more exciting is that the demand for Xbox has remained strong even after the decorations have all been packed away.

Additional highlights from around the world include the following:


During the key retail month of December, Xbox outsold GameCube by 100 per cent in the United Kingdom. (Source: ChartTrack, December 2002)
Xbox has passed the million-console mark in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. (Source: ChartTrack, GfK; December 2002)
European gamers showed their support for Xbox in huge numbers, with near-sellout sales during the console's first European Christmas season. The Sega Christmas Pack From Xbox, a limited edition Xbox Christmas offer that included 120 euros' (£80) worth of free triple-A games from Sega, also proved a winner with gamers across Europe. Many stores sold out of stock before Christmas.
The Xbox Live Consumer Beta and Test Drive programs have been a great success, and momentum continues to build for the European retail launch of Xbox Live, which is on track for March 14, 2003.


After a very successful beta test, Xbox Live launched on Jan. 16 in Japan. Beta users, partners and several famous game creators comprised the guests at the Xbox Live launch party in Tokyo. Early response to Xbox Live in Japan has been enthusiastic, and many gamers are excited to play Phantasy Star Online on the Xbox Live service.


Xbox achieved significant momentum over the critical holiday period in Canada, selling faster than ever before. According to ACNielsen market data for November 2002, Xbox captured more than 32 per cent of the Canadian next-generation console market -- its best month since launching in Canada in November 2001.


Xbox market share grew dramatically in Australia in the key months of November and December to nearly 40 per cent and 35 per cent respectively. Xbox market share growth was mostly at the expense of PlayStation 2, which dropped from just over 70 per cent to 60 per cent. (Source: Inform, November and December 2002)
During those same two months, GameCube's market share plunged to just over 5 per cent, and that trend is continuing in 2003. (Source: Inform, November and December 2002)


Xbox can now be found in more than 500 selected retail outlets throughout Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Korea. The excitement of the recent Xbox launches in Asia has been fueled by the launch of the Dead or Alive 3 (DOA3) offer to usher in the Chinese New Year beginning next month as well as the online preorder campaign for the localized version of Halo for Korean gamers that started last week.