Mindy Mount, the vice president and Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, has argued, at the recent BMO Capital Markets Interactive Entertainment Conference, that the Xbox 360 gaming console is a recession-proof product that might even benefit from the economic downturn that the world is experiencing.
The main argument is that a bad economy makes every dollar more important, which means that Microsoft can push the Xbox 360, with its recent price cut, as the best value for money console on the market. Mount said that, “In tough economic times, people tend to cut back on very high-ticket items like travel and automobiles, but they still want to be entertained. Video games already offer some of the most hours of entertainment per dollar than any other form of entertainment.”
If people tend not to travel, they might be more interested in videogames. If they believe the price of admission at the movie theater is too high, they might be interested in using Netflix to stream full movies on their console. The New Xbox Experience is also aimed at making the console interface more intuitive and easy to use by more casual players.
Mount says that the Xbox 360 will be reaching an install base of more than 25 million by the end of November, which means that the numbers of the original Xbox will be surpassed. She also says that recent customer surveys show that families are more interested than ever in getting a console that can offer entertainment opportunities for the entire family. It seems that 81% of the members of homes with children are now looking to buy “gifts that provide entertainment while staying home,” which is a good sign for the videogames industry in general, and could drive up sales of the Xbox 360 this holiday season.