The 360's high attach rate has been a big boasting point for Microsoft for some time now. After all, it's only natural to claim success when everyone who buys your console also buys an average of 5 games. It all sounds rosy, but according to the Susquehanna Financial Group, the 360's high attach rate may be indicative of its ultimate failure. "How the hell does that make sense?" you ask, and with good reason.
The Susquehanna Financial Group believes that the high attach rate could indicate that the 360 attracts more "hardcore" gamers and fewer "casual" gamers. Again, this sounds like a good thing, because hardcore gamers buy more games. However, if the 360 isn't attracting casual gamers (who far outnumber hardcore gamers), then its overall installed base will never grow. From a publisher's perspective, it's always better to have more potential customers. As the analysts at SIG put it, "a console with an attach rate of 8 and an installed base of 50 million is superior to a console with an attach rate of 12 with an installed base of 20 [million]." In other words, attach rates are less meaningful if the installed base isn't large enough to back it up.
Still, it may be a little early to declare that the 360 is the next Dreamcast, a failed machine with a dedicated following. The 360 is still young, and many people have been waiting for the Wii and PS3 to arrive before they made their decision. If anything, the new console war is only just beginning.
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