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Long hardware cycle will prompt more price cuts - EA

Software sales are also yet to peak this generation, says CFO Eric Brown

Electronic Arts' CFO Eric Brown has said that the expected longer lifecycle for current generation consoles means there's room for more hardware price cuts in the future.

And as price cuts on hardware drive the uptake of games, the current generation of machines have yet to enjoy peak software sales.

"We've seen one major price drop thus far in this console cycle," said Brown of the last Xbox 360 price drop. "We feel that we have a long ways to go, and a lot more of the unit sales will occur at the lower price points," reports Gamasutra.

"History holds more [hardware] units translates, times tie ratio, to more software units and software dollars for third-party publishers. Those are the key takeaways in terms of where we see this console cycle at this point in time."

Brown noted that once the Xbox 360 dropped below USD 200 in North America, hardware sales helped Microsoft's console jump ahead of the competition.

"We look at the data and what we can see is that that actually had a pretty interesting catalysing effect on their unit sales."

"In the first half of calendar 08, there was rough parity between PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Second half of the year, [there is a] 40-plus percent sales advantage to Xbox versus PS3, potentially as a result of that price drop."

Platforms will also grow due to the delivery of content digitally, said Brown, and with tech in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 delivering high-end gaming experiences, advancements in consumer technology may be slowing.

"I myself am not quite sure where we go from here," he said.

"There's just no broadly-available consumer viewing technology beyond HD. You have to be a PC technophile with an ultra high resolution monitor to get past that."

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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