Economic Indicator Analysis Section One The product being analysed is the Xbox 360 that is being produced and marketed by Microsoft Corporation. The Xbox 360 is the successor to the original Xbox video game console and hails from the seventh generation of video game consoles…
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Moreover, region specific media access to third party media is also offered through streaming services such as ESPN and Netflix. Currently a slimmer version of the Xbox 360 is being shipped which sports a number of features. These include Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), TOSLINK S/PDIF optical audio out port, five USB 2.0 ports and a specialised AUX port. (Takahashi, 2010) All previous models of the Xbox series have been discarded since. The console ships with a standard 250 GB hard drive and a cheaper stock keeping unit ships with 4GB internal storage space. Special editions of the Xbox 360 ship with 320 GB hard drives. Microsoft holds that the Xbox 360 platform is only through half of its projected life that is deemed to continue up to 2015. (Robinson, 2009) In terms of performance and capability, IGN named the Xbox 360 as the sixth best video game console of all times out of a total of 25 gaming consoles. (IGN, 2011) The processor is a triple core Xenon designed by IBM. Each core can process two threads simultaneously and so in total it can process six threads. (Microsoft, 2008) The Xbox 360 handles graphics through the ATI Xenos GPUS that sports 10 MB worth of eDRAM and has a main memory pool of 512 MB. The controllers for the Xbox 360 are shipped in both wired and wireless models. A host of technical failures were associated with the Xbox 360 since its release but these have been dealt with by Microsoft by extending warranty periods to three years and by modifying hardware to accommodate thermal instability. Microsoft is a leading software and IT business company with roots stretching as far back as the late seventies. The company was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on 4th April 1975. With the introduction of the company’s DOS (Disk Operating System) that was extensively utilised by IBM, the company saw unprecedented growth. The development of the Windows framework allowed the company to expand its reach to newer consumers around the globe. The mid nineties saw Microsoft under fire for monopolistic business practices and was subsequently prosecuted under anti-trust laws. Moreover, Microsoft expanded into the word processing domain with its Microsoft Office software suite that sports little competition. Recent years have seen Microsoft diversifying its portfolio by delving into newer markets such as video games, consumer electronics, digital services, cellular phone operating systems and VoIP communications. As of 2011, the company hosts revenue of some $69.96 billion while its operating income stands at $24.1 billion as of 2010. The video gaming industry is far more open than the video games console industry as it allows successful start-ups. Developmental costs for software are lower than those for hardware and this allows the video games market to be more open to competition. However, the video games console market requires multi faceted research aimed at developing and sourcing hardware that can be utilised to outstrip the performance of the competition’s consoles. Consequently, there are few companies in the market that are manufacturing and marketing video gaming consoles. Notably the market is occupied by Nintendo’s Gamecube and Wii, Sony’s Playstation series and Microsoft’s Xbox series. Both Nintendo and Sony develop customised hardware for their gaming console platforms including processing, storage and GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) along with networking and other supporting features. In contrast, Microsoft tends to source its hardware from various sources
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