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UK Xbox 360 sales up 40 per cent

Price cut has desired effect.

The Xbox 360 boasted a 40 per cent spike in UK sales over the weekend following the Europe-wide price cut, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

Retail welcomed the timely boost in the build up to a busy Easter, as strong competition mounts from the PS3 and GT5 Prologue.

"Xbox 360 is up 35-40 per cent - that's from Friday, when the price cut came into effect, up to midnight Saturday," Chart-Track director Dorian Bloch told GamesIndustry.biz.

"Now it's a question of Easter; the real litmus test will be over the next three to four weeks - it's too early to read too much into it at this stage."

However, the real star performer was the PlayStation 2, which Bloch said exhibited the "greatest surge" thanks to lots of price promotion leading up to the chocolate festivities.

The knock-on effect of the 360 price cut has been felt across the whole market, and retailers hope it will continue for weeks to come.

"Generally the market as a whole lifted between 35-40 per cent and we were in line with that," offered HMV spokesperson Gennaro Castaldo.

"That's obviously fairly significant, given we didn't have too much time to communicate it to our consumers. So with a lot more of the marketing kicking in now we expect it to grow even more in the coming days and weeks."

Microsoft snipped the price of all models of Xbox 360 in Europe last week, reducing the Arcade unit to GBP 159 (making it the cheapest next-generation console), Premium unit to GBP 199, and Elite unit to GBP 259.

Sony Europe is expected to counter by revealing a GT5 Prologue PS3 bundle soon, as it has in the US.

However, despite the climb in hardware sales, software dipped a little in an expected "drip-off" from big releases like Army of Two and Bully the week before. This saw Mario & Sonic at the Olympics re-establish itself in the gold medal position.

"Longevity has been skewed by Nintendo formats," added Bloch. "The average length of time for a title in the top 40 now is 18 weeks - but that's been skewed by Brain Training, which has been there for 93 weeks, and New Super Mario Bros. on 90 weeks. Those titles are really lengthening the tail."

GamesIndustry.biz - where no amount of rumour-drip off can prevent the lengthening of the news tail.

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Robert Purchese

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Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.

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