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Analyst: 360 Elite Surpassing Core and Premium Demand

Online traffic analysis group Compete has released the latest in its reports, this time finding that Microsoft's newly announced Xbox 360 Elite has already surpassed both core and premium system shoppers in terms of web traffic, despite having only been l
Online traffic analysis group Compete has released the latest in its reports, this time finding that Microsoft's newly announced Xbox 360 Elite has already surpassed both core and premium system shoppers in terms of web traffic, despite having only been listed for pre-order for three weeks. Wondering aloud if the announcement of the Elite model Xbox 360, which includes a hard drive double the size of the standard model, HDMI video output, and a black finish was a wise choice in a market where most potential buyers already own a standard 360, Compete analyst Max Freiert looked into online retail demand for the product based on web traffic. Looking more broadly at next-gen console demand over the past year ending March, Compete noted that the PlayStation 3 continues to trail the competing consoles in online demand, with the gap continuing to widen. "While demand for all three consoles fell from February to March," Freiert notes, "PS3 demand fell by nearly 20 percent." Wii demand, the group notes, has also fallen "back to earth," but still sits a comfortable 40 percent higher than the Xbox 360 and double that of the PlayStation 3. The Xbox 360 itself, though has remained the most stable in terms of demand throughout the "post-holiday lull." The answer to Compete's question on the Elite comes not from looking at the long-term demand over the past year, though, but on a weekly level throughout March, just past the date it was first officially announced. Here, Compete's analysis shows a surprising contrast to earlier findings by Toronto analysis group BrandIntel, which showed the Elite's online brand perception tracking lower than the Wii, PS3, and the standard Xbox 360 itself. Compete's analysis found that online demand for the Elite surpassed aggregated core and premium demand, despite the system only having been listed for three weeks, and, of course, despite it not being currently available for purchase. Finally, Compete notes that the announcement of the Elite has "driven incremental shoppers to the 360 brand." "Looking at the aggregated total shoppers, there has apparently been very little overlap elite shoppers and bundle or “lesser system” shoppers," Freiert notes. The full findings and accompanying charts from Compete's analysis can be found via its official website.

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