Microsoft declares War in £14m marketing blitz

While Nintendo readies its own £12.5m push and Sony cracks open a £7m marketing warchest, Microsoft is set to lead the pack with what is a record spend for the platform holder.

“It’s probably well in excess of double what we’ve typically spent on a Christmas,” Xbox marketing boss Stephen McGill told MCV. “With Sony not being here and Nintendo coming in with limited stock the opportunity for us is pretty significant. Most of the £14 million will be spent on getting consistent TV airtime.”

And as Xbox 360 approaches its first birthday, Microsoft is targeting the platform’s range of product as the key differentiator.

“Our whole thing is about choice. We’ve got two different versions of the console, and a huge choice of games. It's also about how much you want to engage with it - if you want to get online or play Live Arcade games, gamers can go for it. It’s up to them.”

With the small matter of a hardware launch to organise, Nintendo will be looking to make an impact too. As revealed by MCV, the firm is splashing £6.5m on Wii and backing DS with a series of initiatives totalling £6m.

“You won’t be able to miss Wii on TV this Christmas,” Nintendo product manager Rob Lowe told MCV. “We will be supported with our heaviest ever online spend, and a large-scale print and cinema campaign,”

And of course Sony is ramping up its efforts too, with £7 million earmarked to push both PS2 and PSP. “PlayStation has always had a focus on TV at Christmas and this year will be no different,” said UK marketing manager Mary Tristram. “We will make sure that we extend the experience online and in print but the majority of the spend will be based on TV.”

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