O2 enters gaming with console offers

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O2 retail stores have started selling Xbox and PlayStation 3 games consoles to help increase sales of its fixed line broadband product and broaden its appeal as a retailer in the youth market

Around 40 O2 retail stores have started offering Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 3 gaming consoles as an alternative to a handset as part of a contract upgrade, following successful trials in 20 stores last year.

O2 customers eligible for an upgrade can take a 250GB Xbox 360 Kinect gaming package for £189.99 on a £25 per month two year deal. Customers can choose either one free game and 12 months free subscription to its online gaming service Xbox Live, or simply two games.

Customers not eligible for upgrade can buy the package for £389.99.

Alternatively customers can choose a 320GB PlayStation 3 on a £35 per month two year deal which includes its new PlayStation Move motion sensor starter kit which includes a controller and starter disk.

O2 stores with an O2 Blue Room or lounge area, exclusive areas for O2 customers to try out handsets and access WiFi, are expected to have demonstration gaming stations for customers to try the gaming packages.

Stores include the Trafford Centre in Manchester, Birmingham New Street, Notting Hill Gate in London, Belfast Victoria Square and 72 Princess Street in Edinburgh. A full list is available on the O2 website.

In addition, more than 200 O2 stores will be stocking games and accessories as O2 looks for share of the gaming sector.

It has been suggested O2 is looking to reduce its focus on laptop sales also in favour of game consoles and tablet devices.

An O2 spokesperson said: “The consoles and gaming space are popular among people who like to play together and connect, whether with families or friends. Much of, if not all, the new hardware and increasingly software launches are centred around playing with others, such as  Kinect and  Move, whether physically in the same room or online.”

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