Microsoft officials have announced plans to launch the Xbox 360 in India, with a marketing campaign involving a launch before the important Diwali festival on October 21st.
"We see an opportunity to lead and define the market," said Mitch Koch, corporate vice-president for global retail sales at Microsoft's entertainment and devices division to the Reuters news agency. "We will be in India before our competition has launched in any other market."
The Xbox 360 will be sold for 19,990 rupees ($439), although it is unclear whether this price includes a hard drive and other premium pack accessories. Microsoft hopes to set up 1,200 retail outlets in main cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.
"It is estimated there are 1.6 million gamers in India who spend at least 2 hours playing everyday," commented Mohit Anand, country manager at Microsoft's India entertainment and devices division to Reuters. "The market, which is coming off a small base, is rapidly increasing as the population is young and tech-savvy.”
Plans also exist to encourage local third party developer to create localized games and content for the Xbox 360, although Microsoft officials denied there were any plans to set up a Xbox 360-specific game development center in India – despite the growing outsourcing community
in the country.