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XBox 360 Fails To Sell In India; MS To Wind Up Ops In Tier-I Cities: Report

As far as India is concerned, the xBox is the x’ed Box, if this report from CNBC-TV18 is to be believed. The console has apparently been such a dismal failure in India that Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is reportedly winding up operations in several Tier-I cities. MS’ Entertainment & Devices Division (EDD) has also withdrawn the marketing budget for India, and Ashim Mathur, Marketing Head for the division has planned to leave the company. Mathur has denied any such development, and the company has, expectedly, given CNBC-TV18 a standard response, that everything is going according to plan. More here.

This comes a few months after Mohit Anand, Country Head for EDD left to join Channel V. Anand had mentioned that the lack of lack of government support for gaming (i.e. – reduction of duty, and a gaming policy) was the most disheartening aspect of his tenure. At a conference last year, he had mentioned that the xBox business is not expected to break even until 2011. Now it appears that MS is reducing market exposure.

More in the extended text

Anand had often made a pitch for reducing the overbearing 37.1 percent duty that is levied on the console. With the duty, the xBox 360 Pro console is priced at Rs. 23500 plus tax, while, the last time I checked, the modded, grey market version (prominently displayed at Palika Bazaar in Delhi) was for Rs. 19000. Piracy may be a key reason – the games priced upwards of Rs. 1500 are available for as little as Rs. 100. A recent increase in Excise Duty on packaged software (from 8 to 12 percent), would have made things worse. Ever since its launch in September 2006, Microsoft has refused to disclose sales numbers for the xBox 360.

Microsoft did try a number of things to make the console more accessible – they tied up with ICICI Bank to offer the Xbox360 on EMI (Equated Monthly Installment), cut prices during the festive season and stuck content deals with movie producer UTV and education content provider Educomp. xBox Live was launched as an incentive for users to buy the legal console instead of the pirated, modded version. But more bang for the buck with pirated content, it seems.

4 Responses to “XBox 360 Fails To Sell In India; MS To Wind Up Ops In Tier-I Cities: Report”

  1. This is true because in india its a trend of piracy everything on piracy institute running pirated software 85% of home user use pirated os , software , games ,every thing pirated so what kinda response you expect from ms , indian consumer should think about it why we blame our government for everything what you have done for your country i really felt ashamed to be an in…..

  2. This was bound to happen. In India an average Indians monthly income is 10,000 to 12,000 Rs. So XBox 360 pricing 22,500 Rs falls in the category of luxury goods(Pricing makes or breaks a sale).Microsoft had not done any market research before launching their product in India. India consists of a gaming community which has 95% pc gamers. The remaining 5-7% are hooked onto PS2 which costs no more that 6,500Rs. PS2 gamers are increasing by the day due to the marketing work carried out by XBox360. The reason being that when a PC gamer has to move on to console he thinks about the most affordable one available and PS2 is the only answer right now. I have to say Microsoft started with a bang in India as far as advertising their product goes(we all know the sales were pathetic).Two industries rule here in India (Cricket sports/Bollywood entertainment industry)and they had signed two superstars Yuvraj and Akshay. But soon the sales affected the advertising budget and soon the ads were taken off air.

  3. AquarianIceman


    How the mighty have fallen! Suck on this, MicroSHAFT! Serves you right for throwing around all that attitude just because you think you're the bigest bully on the block (yes, that means you, Mohit!)