Next for Microsoft Xbox: winning casual gamers

Reuters' Scott Hillis reports:

Microsoft has cemented its reputation among hardcore gamers with the launch of "Halo 3," but it is still struggling to attract the mass market audience that has flocked to the Nintendo Wii.

Deutsche Bank analyst Todd Raker believes that stronger-than-expected demand for 'Halo 3' could drive Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division EDD to profitability. But Microsoft must attract casual customers as well if the Xbox 360 is going to be a living-room fixture.

So far Microsoft's attempts to attract casual audience have met with mixed results. A lot of the problem is image; the huge buzz around games like "Halo 3" obscures the fact that Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade has about 100 casual games available for download. Baker expects Microsoft to ramp up marketing aimed at casual gamers in another month or so.

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nirwanda4137d ago

fill every new 360 HD with all the live arcade games demo versions and give them 5/6 full versions and put the full version of all the games on the demo pods with a screen instead of the dash board that gives 2 options 1 casual games 2 full price retail demo's and highlight the cost of the casual games in real money value not just ms points as this just confuses the mainsream public

mandrake4137d ago (Edited 4137d ago )

What is with this obsession with "casual gamers"? By definition these people don't care as deeply for playing games, and hence can't be expected to spend as much time or money on the hobby as serious gamers. If MS was reliant on hardware profits like Nintendo then I can see why going after these lousy customers would make sense. But since software sales are the key to the 360 business model, I don't see any benefit to bringing casual gamers on board. Just look at wii software sales. Those kind of numbers would be a dead end for MS, or Sony for that matter, because both use hardware as a "loss leader" to drive software sales.