View Full Version : Xbox Down Under

10-21-2002, 05:14 AM
I dunno 'bout all this.

Microsoft fight to keep Xbox down under
Posted on 10/21/02
Microsoft would be forced to reconsider selling the Xbox video game system in Australia, or seek changes to the law, following the acquittal in July of a Sydney man alleged to have sold chips that modify a Sony PlayStation 2 to play imported games, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said yesterday.

After the launch of a Telstra mobile computing device, Mr Ballmer said the decision affected Xbox's business model, which relies on subsidising the hardware console in return for a royalty on every game sold.

Microsoft has slashed the retail price of an Xbox from $649 to $399, which resulted in increased hardware sales and more game software sold. Although it is still the underdog against the entrenched might of Sony's PlayStation 2, the price cut is having the desired effect, with a 12 per cent increase in Xbox software sales from August to September, according to market researcher Inform. But Sony, which saw sales of PlayStation 2 titles decline 19 per cent in the same period, still dominates, selling 28 per cent of all titles, against Xbox's 7 per cent.

"Given the way the economic model works, and that is a subsidy followed, essentially, by fees for every piece of software sold, our licence framework has to do that," Mr Ballmer said. "If there are aspects that are not allowed, it would encourage us to require a change in the legal framework. Otherwise, it wouldn't make economic sense."

evil xbox king
10-21-2002, 05:32 AM
Damn Government! I'm going to write a letter to John Howard (doubt he'll listen though) complaining about this! If MS stops Xbox in Aussie I'll do something harmful to myself (and possibly others).

10-21-2002, 09:40 AM
This is not the government, this is Allan Fels and the ACCC. This is more against the practice of "zoning" electronic equipment, and whether it is actually legal to do so. To the ACCC, they see it is as a restraint of trade, a fake imposition on the customer, to force them to buy games locally, and not have the option of importing DVD's, games etc.
It may have wider implications, such as those on DVD's, which by the way, supposedly 4-5 years ago banned mutlizoned units in Australia, when currently just about all DVD players sold are multizoned from the manufacturer anyway.....

Think about it, IF the zoning of consoles and DVD players are against Fair Trade laws, then it can only do the good of allowing us a lot more choice of where we can import games from, be they NTSC or PAL.... (We have the imposition of the fake zone by having PAL XBOX's after all)