Xbox 360 sales 'up 200 percent' in Europe

Mid-September price cut having the desired effect as Microsoft heralds increase in console purchases.

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Microsoft's price-cutting strategy appears to be working for its flagship console. Xbox 360 prices were reduced in the US on September 5, taking the cost of the 60GB Pro version down to $299 and making the Arcade SKU (which has no hard drive) cheaper than the Nintendo Wii at $199. Microsoft UK followed suit, with a reduction on September 19 for the Arcade to £129.99 and the (now-60GB) Pro falling to £169.99.

Following the price cut in the US, Microsoft told Bloomberg it had seen a 100 percent increase in sales. The company has now announced that based on Chart Track figures from September 29, sales of the Xbox 360 in Europe over the previous two weeks increased by 214 percent. Microsoft also said that the figures showed it was outselling Sony's PlayStation 3 by two-to-one, but did not indicate how many units were actually sold.

Chris Lewis, Microsoft vice president, interactive entertainment business Europe, Middle East and Africa, said, "We've seen uplift in all countries in Europe and are confident that even at this rate of growth we can keep retail satisfied with a steady supply of consoles throughout the Christmas season."

Microsoft isn't the only company with reasons to be cheerful this week though. The latest UK all-formats chart shows that LucasArts' Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has held on to the number one position, followed closely by Nintendo's Wii Fit, which according to Chart Track had its third-best ever week of sales with a 75 percent rise on the previous week.

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