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Xbox becomes ex-console

According to official release schedules, major third parties like Ubisoft, Sega, Midway, Vivendi and Activision have no planned future Xbox releases.

European president of Sega Mike Hayes told MCV: “Sales on Xbox have fallen dramatically in the last six months. It no longer represents a viable platform for us.”

And general manager for Activision in the UK and Ireland Andrew Brown added to the groundswell of opinion: “Given the current dynamic in the Xbox market in the UK, we have had to manage the availability of our slate in line with consumer demand.”

According to ELSPA statistics, Xbox enjoyed just 2.6 per cent of total software sales last week. This was still 30 per cent better than the week before, however – perhaps an indication that retailers have started slashing software prices in order to shift remaining stock.

Retailers such as Virgin Megastores, HMV and Woolworths have pulled Xbox hardware off the shelves completely and started selling-off marked-down software.

“It's fairly self-evident that demand for particular titles on Xbox is diminishing and becoming less commercially viable,” head of games at HMV Tim Ellis told MCV. “I can understand why some titles may no longer be coming out."

The only big budget games still officially due for the format are: Avatar The Last Airbender from THQ (09/02), Medal Of Honor: Heroes from EA (Q1 2007) and 2K Games’ film tie-in Ghost Rider (Q1 2007).

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