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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: This weekend Microsoft’s X-Box video game hit store shelves in India. The company is pushing to capture the market before rivals Sony or Nintendo start selling games there, but Miranda Kennedy reports from New Delhi that when it comes to profits it may take a while before “X” marks the spot.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: The company doesn’t expect Xbox to fly off the shelves.
Because government taxes are so high, Xbox actually costs more here than in the US. At $440, it’s more than most middle class Indians earn in a month.
Microsoft country manager Mohit Anand says on top of that, there’s no culture of playing video games in India. But he thinks that’s going to change.
MOHIT ANAND: The average age of an Indian is only 24. Obviously we realized there’s this huge burgeoning middle class which has disposable income and where this generation is looking at more interactive and much more, different forms of entertainment.
To get the attention of young Indians, Microsoft has signed up a popular Bollywood actor to advertise the product. And next year, it plans to release an Xbox game based on an Indian sports obsession: cricket.
In New Delhi, I’m Miranda Kennedy for Marketplace.
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