NEWS - Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Xbox 360 Is Fastest-Selling Console In Australia

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has racked up the best debut ever for a console platform in Australia, with over 30,000 units of the system selling through in the four days following its March 23rd launch. That’s according to figures from market analyst GfK, which reports that around 10,000 consoles sold at the midnight launch on March 23rd, followed by an additional 20,000 units in the following days. The totals put the Xbox 360 at the top of the launch sales league table in the region - the former record holder was Sony’s PlayStation Portable, which sold through 27,000 units in a comparable period of time. However, it’s not clear whether all of the pre-orders taken for the Xbox 360 in Australia have yet been met - Microsoft’s Xbox chief in the region, David McLean, had previously told local publication AustralianIT that pre-orders were running at around 45,000 units. Commenting to the site in the wake of the launch figures being revealed by GfK, he said merely that the firm would "easily reach our launch window forecast." GfK also revealed that a tie ratio of around 2.6 games per console has been seen in the early days of the launch; while McLean confirmed that the full Xbox 360 pack (as distinct from the hard drive lacking Core System) accounted for the bulk of sales. The Xbox 360 launched in the other major global territories of North America, Europe and Japan before Christmas, but experienced massive shortages in the wake of the launches which are only now reaching a resolution. Despite Microsoft’s claims of a worldwide global launch, the Australian launch comes almost four months after other English-speaking territories got their hands on the console - so gamers in the territory are likely to have been relieved when Sony’s Phil Harrison, on stage at GDC last week, told the audience that Australia was included in the firm’s plans for a global launch in November 2006 for PS3.

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