Following on from his European colleague's comments yesterday, 360 product manager Aaron Greenberg said in the statement that 2008 was the "biggest year ever in Xbox history" and this in spite of a troubled global economy.
Greenberg cited price as the main reason for the season success of 360 despite the current financial plight: "the $199 price point (of the Xbox 360) was really critical to our success this holiday," he said.
Update: Full release after the break.
By Mike Bowden
Xbox 360 Records Its Biggest Year Ever
Driven by record sales at retail along with an 84 percent jump in online consumer spending; global install base lead over PlayStation 3 expands to more than 8 million units.
REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 5, 2009 — Despite a tough economy, the gaming industry held strong in 2008 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system recorded the biggest year in Xbox history, with more consoles, games and online entertainment experiences sold than any previous year. It was a year in which life-to-date unit sales of Xbox 360 systems climbed to 28 million consoles worldwide — expanding the product’s lead over Sony PlayStation 3 to more than 8 million units. The Xbox LIVE community also grew to more than 17 million active members, as online consumer spending increased 84 percent from last year. Since the launch of the Xbox 360 three years ago, more than $1 billion has been spent on Xbox LIVE. This amazing growth was fueled by the launch of the New Xbox Experience1; the broadest selection of hit games, TV shows, and movies available; and mass-market price points, starting at $199.
Xbox 360 is experiencing record-setting sales around the globe, particularly in Japan and Europe, nearly doubling market share in these key territories. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) specifically, Xbox 360 has now sold more than 8 million units, extending its lead over the PS3 by more than 1 million units.
“For Xbox, 2008 will be remembered around the world as a pivotal growth year at retail and online — even in the face of tough economic conditions,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Worldwide, a record number of players flocked to our broadest games and entertainment lineup ever, while the New Xbox Experience thrilled millions of fans by making our console even more engaging. And yet, we’ve only provided a glimpse into the new world of interactive entertainment that we’re imagining. The best of Xbox 360 is yet to come.”
One of the biggest trends in 2008 was consumers taking advantage of the convenience and value with digital distribution of games and entertainment content. One of the most popular offerings this holiday was Netflix on Xbox 360, which as a Netflix member provides users with access to unlimited viewing of more than 12,000 movies and TV shows in DVD quality as well as many in high definition. 2 In addition, Xbox LIVE is home to the largest library of downloadable games, game add-ons, movies and TV shows.
Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Xbox LIVE experienced its busiest week ever, with a record of more than 1.5 million concurrent members online. During that week, some of the most popular movies, TV shows, arcade games and game add-ons included these:
• “The Dark Knight”
• “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” (unrated)
• “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
• “Iron Man”
• “Tropic Thunder”
• “South Park”
• “Family Guy”
• “The Office”
• A Kingdom for Keflings
• Castle Crashers
• Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
• Puzzle Arcade
• “Rock Band®”
• “Guitar Hero®”
• “Halo 3”
• “Gears of War® 2”
• “Call of Duty® 4”
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 center 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 Xbox LIVE
Xbox LIVE connects more than 17 million members across 26 countries to each other and the entertainment they love. Home of more entertainment from one remote than can be found from any device connected to the television, Xbox LIVE is also a unified online social network bringing friends together, no matter where they are — in the living room or across the world. More information and Xbox LIVE membership can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
1 128 MB available space required for the New Xbox Experience. Hard drive recommended for Xbox LIVE, and is required for some features. Xbox LIVE Gold membership and/or other fees may apply. See http://www.xbox.com/live.