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Sony vs Microsoft: Who Wants the New GTA IV Gamers More?

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According to Mike Hickey - an analyst at Janco Partners - quoted by the Associated Press last month, "...5 million copies of GTA IV will sell the first week of release, on par with last year’s record-breaking $300 million first-week sales of Bungie Studios’ Halo 3.

"Hickey said Rockstar’s hush-hush promotional effort – more viral, less in-your-face than the Halo 3 campaign – could give GTA IV an edge".

So, big stakes to be played for. GTA IV, however, differs in one huge element from Halo 3 - it is not a platform exclusive game.

Rockstar and Take-Two's promotional activity (hush-hush or loud-loud) will be aimed at selling its game - to anybody who will buy it (or to anybody whose big brother will buy it for them). It has to be.

Retail will be in the same situation.

The fact that, come April 29th, the game is also going to be offered on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, Sony and Microsoft will be pushing

Sony's response, you might recall, came from Jack Tretton (President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA)), who on looking at the GTA IV as a hardware seller, told The Street:

"There's no question that having the Grand Theft Auto franchise helped us a lot (with PS2) and helped us sell some units...

"No, I don't think it (GTA IV's non-exclusivity) hurts us. No, I really don't."

So, if Jack doesn't think it's important, is it?

It's a long held belief business meme that getting hold of a new customer is much, much more of an effort than retaining existing ones. Business managers the world over sit in seminars trying to work out just what the 'cost of customer acquisition' and how to minimise it.

Right now, in terms of customer retention, Microsoft holds the strongest hand. The Xbox is long forgotten (admit it), the 360 is the centre of its gaming attention in Arcade, Elite and Premium format. Its 'installed base' is settled. GTA IV is coming out for its format.

Sony, on the other hand sees GTA IV launching on PlayStation 3 only. Its current hardware brand leader, the PlayStation 2, will see users leaving - in order to buy the game. They will be leaving to either the more expensive PS3... or they could jump brand entirely to the 360.

So far then, Microsoft stands to benefit more - and appears to be doing more. The news today that it is to introduce price cuts across all Xbox 360 stock keeping units (SKUs) is a strong indicator that the company is revving up for the battle. Its Xbox Live competition, 'GTA IV Sweepstakes', which offers the chance for gamers to win a trip to New York is also a strong indicator that it see Rockstar's game as major driver (sic). The only way you can enter is to have an Xbox Live gamertag - and if you've got one of those, hell, you might as well have a 360.

In the UK, major High Street retailers Game and GameStation are offering 500 Xbox Live points if you pre-order for the Xbox 360. It's doubtful that either retailer stumped up the cash to cover this. Game is also offering £3.50 worth of Game reward points for both PS3 and Xbox 360 versions.

One final point to note, however, could be that for the gamer who doesn't - gasp - like enjoy GTA, Sony's recent Blu-ray win would have far more impact as a platform seller than any non-exclusive game, no matter how big.

Having taken this time to look back over the build-up to the GTA IV four things come to the fore:

1) Microsoft appears to be expending more time and energy - even if only by words and a few (free Xbox Live points etc) actions. It seems to see more benefit.

2) Sony either doesn't see GTA IV as a hardware seller or doesn't care.

3) There is still more than a month to go and no one wants to blow budget.

4) GTA is no no longer a hardware seller.

We've contacted Microsoft, Sony and Rockstar today to see what marketing activities are in the offing, so far.... so no response from any of them.

In the meantime would GTA IV make you switch gaming brand? Would you move from 360 to PS3? Or would you abandon PlayStation entirely for the Xbox 360? Tell us in the Forum.

Source: Spong

Edited by mark866

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I'm getting it for the xbox, I love xbox live, and most of my friends have a 360, but not a ps3. Plus the 360 has DLC and if they are identical I like the 360 controller better then the ps3's. I would get it for the ps3 if it was only on that console, same with the 360 as well.

edit: also 360 has achievements :D

Edited by CaptJohn

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I have a very strong feeling this is going to become a fanboy topic. This will lead to people posting why they think PS3 is better or the why the 360 is better. There were multiple topics like this and i think we should just shut up about the exclusive content and wait for the game to actually come out. By the way a topic saying exactly this same information has just been locked and you are not the first one with this info.

Edited by Dr.Dbl-Gee

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