A number of senior industry analysts have warned that Microsoft's Xbox 360 console will start to struggle in the market over the coming year. Moreover, some have labelled Microsoft's attempts to market the 360 towards the casual gaming demographic as simply disastrous.
Senior industry analysts have voiced concerns over the future of Microsoft's Xbox business, labeling the US firm's attempts to market 360 to casual audiences "disastrous", and predicting that the console will "start to struggle in the market" over the coming year.
Speaking during a panel session at last month's Nordic Game 2008 conference in Malmo, Sweden, analysts covering the UK, Europe and North America were called upon to assess the current state of the global games market, and predict key trends for the next 12-18 months. And for Microsoft, the picture in their crystal ball was anything but rosy.
"When you look at an installed base basis, the Xbox 360's going to come in third place when all's said and done," said DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole. "The concern I would have with a company like Microsoft is, one of these days they're going to have to make a profit on this business otherwise why are they in it?"
Nick Parker, MD of Parker Consulting and an analyst for Screen Digest, argued that 360's failure to succeed in key continental Europe territories pointed to a fundamental image problem. "The trouble with Xbox 360 is it hasn't managed to shake off this urban, irreverent adult male feel; so it hasn't gained traction in the more casual gaming markets of mainland Europe such as France, Spain and Italy, where it's stalled," he said. "And there are already rumours of Xbox 360 being delisted from certain retailers."
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