CREDIT CRUNCH MEANS MORE QUALITY FAMILY TIME THIS CHRISTMAS

London, UK— 26th November, 2008— British families are set to spend more quality time together than in the last ten years this Christmas, as the economic downturn drives more families to stay at home and enjoy entertainment together.

New research by Xbox reveals that amongst the doom and gloom of the economic downturn, a cut in spending means over a third more British families will be sitting down to enjoy Christmas Lunch together than at any other time in the noughties.

Mums and dads are instead spending a fraction of the money on one piece home entertainment the whole family can enjoy together at Christmas and beyond - leading to even more shared experiences that individual gifts do not provide.

According to the survey, which polled over 1,000 people, the average UK household is not just looking for any type of entertainment. This Christmas, shoppers are being very specific that the entertainment they buy must be suitable for all members for the family– with films, music and digital entertainment at front of mind for bargain-hunting parents.

"There's a wealth of psychological evidence that families benefit from bonding by sharing common interests and fun together." Says Cambridge don, Dr Brendan Burchell, a specialist in Psychology and Economics.

"With many families experiencing financial worries this Christmas, it's important that families find affordable ways of entertaining themselves, which will often mean playing at home rather than more expensive trips out."

KEY FINDINGS

• Just under half (42%) will be looking for one gift that all the family can enjoy rather than individual gifts

• 72% are hunting for gifts that keep on giving throughout the year

• 42% of people will be buying fewer gifts this year, so will be buying gifts that are extra special

• 49% of those surveyed want to find a gift that will bring the whole family together

HERE’S WHAT WE FOUND OUT…

BRITISH FAMILIES TO STAY HOME DURING THE FESTIVE PERIOD

One in three people surveyed anticipate spending the festive season at home to save money this year. This suggests that families may spend a large part of their holiday season in the living room, looking for ways to be entertained economically. This year, the home looks set to be the destination for holiday entertainment.

BEING ENTERTAINED AT HOME IS CRUCIAL TO FAMILY HAPPINESS

With the purse strings tightening, 45% of people are looking for affordable ways to entertain the family over Christmas. In general, people are looking for something that doesn’t cost too much and still entertains the wide variety of relatives and holiday house guests.

To help put a smile on the faces of family members, just under a third of adults are hunting out gifts this year that can entertain the whole brood.

With 36% of people opting to stay in this Christmas, the survey suggests half of the population will be looking for ways to entertain the family. Time will be split amongst watching movies, playing board games and videogames.

“Gifts that the whole family can enjoy, and which negate the need for expensive family outings to have fun, are what shoppers are looking for this year. 42% of those asked want to find gifts that bring the family together, with 72% of them wanting to find presents that“keep on giving” throughout the year,” said Ray Martin, YouGov

CONSOLES AT CHRISTMAS

Home entertainment devices and systems are experiencing robust Christmas sales, as savvy shoppers see them as cost-effective ways to entertain the whole family. Recent news stories have suggested that this could be the biggest Christmas yet in terms of sales, showing that the research undertaken outlines a common trend with families opting for gifts that all the family can enjoy in comfort of their home that provides value throughout the year.

“In tough economic times, home entertainment products traditionally do well, as consumers tend to want to stay in and save money,” said Martin Olausson, Director of Digital Media Research at Strategy Analytics.“Gaming and entertainment consoles like the Xbox 360 are seen as good value, given they can entertain the whole household through Christmas and beyond.”

“These trends show that providing both a broad experience and value to consumers with Xbox 360 is in line with consumer sentiment. To date, we have sold 7 million consoles in Europe and recently enjoyed our biggest sales week ever. Our trend research shows that families are looking for gifts that keep on giving throughout the year” said Neil Thompson. At an entry-level ERP of£129.99, Xbox 360 offers an amazing experience for the whole family, so with the constant rise in other entertainment based activities such as going to the cinema, concerts and football games, it’s clear Xbox 360 offers great entertainment value for families”

-ends-

For the entire Xbox 360 Christmas Entertainment Survey 2008 or information about Xbox products, please contact:

Nik Thakkar / 020 3047 4087 / nik_thakkar@jcpr.com

Seema Parmar / 020 3047 4001 / seema_parmar@jcpr.com

Data notes

*YouGov survey conducted survey with a national representative sample of 1,003 adults aged 18 and over between 5th-7th November 2008.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is a premier video game and entertainment system. It is home to the best and broadest games plus more standard and high-definition movies and TV shows on demand than any other device connected to the TV. The digital centre of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content, including personal pictures and music, with a unified online social network to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq“MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

About YouGov

YouGov plc is a professional research and consulting organisation, pioneering the use of the Internet and information technology to collect high quality, in-depth data for market research and stakeholder consultation; providing companies with a rounded view of their staff, customers, brands and investors as well as assessing opinion amongst the general public and the media.

YouGov has been acclaimed as the country’s most accurate opinion pollster and the most quoted Research Company in the UK and has operations in the US, Europe and the Middle East.

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