Microsoft: “Credit crunch means more quality family time this Christmas”

Wednesday, 26 November 2008 12:50 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Bailiffs at the door? Repossession notices hidden from the wife at the back of the shed? The holes in little Billy’s shoes impossible to disguise any more? Don’t worry: buy an Xbox 360 and the global financial disaster will be a million miles away this Christmas.

In what probably isn’t the most tasteful press release in the world, Microsoft’s claimed that “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.”

Thankfully, Xbox 360 is here to save the day.

“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.”

And beyond? Hot shit. Full thing after the break.

CREDIT CRUNCH MEANS MORE QUALITY FAMILY TIME THIS CHRISTMAS
New research reveals cuts in Christmas spending will lead more families to spend time together over the Festive Season

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”

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