Xbox U.S. Sales Soar in October
Microsoft’s Xbox sales jumped last month to report a record October for the company.
Market research company NPD released its latest sales figures on Friday. Despite a temporary slip in December (due to shortages), Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console has dominated the charts for 16 out of 17 months. The Xbox 360 outsold both the Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 in October with 393,000 units. Microsoft has held onto the top spot each month in 2011 and is expected to remain the top selling console in the U.S. throughout the holiday period. October’s sales marked the biggest October sales the Xbox has ever experienced. "The Kinect for Xbox 360 continues its momentum with a growing portfolio of more than 75 new Kinect for Xbox 360 titles in the market by holiday - four times more than last holiday," said Microsoft’s Jeff Meisner in a blog post on Friday.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console has held more than 40% of the current-generation market share for seven months now. Microsoft’s Xbox momentum has been fuelled by the popular launch of its Kinect controller-less console accessory for the Xbox 360 across the world in November. The Kinect sensor is a horizontal bar that sits at the base of your TV. The device has an RGB camera, depth sensor and multi-array microphone which runs proprietary software. Kinect allows for full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition. Owners will be able to interact with games titles using just their body. Pausing TV and fast forwarding movies can be achieved using a mix of hand movements and voice control.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console dominated U.S. charts in 2010. Microsoft revealed at CES in January that the company has sold over 50 million Xbox 360 consoles worldwide since launch. Microsoft also has 30 million active Xbox LIVE members and has sold 10 million Kinect sensors in just 60 days on the market.
Microsoft is rolling out a number of holiday based changes to the Xbox. The software maker refreshed its Xbox.com homepage with a new social section that shows what Xbox friends are doing and provides access to the beacons feature in the next Xbox 360 dashboard. The feature allows users to mark games they want to play with others, making it easier for friends to find time to game with each other. Microsoft has also added search ability to the Zune video catalog and buy/rent movies and TV shows from Xbox.com.
Microsoft started to push beta copies of the Xbox 360 fall dashboard update out to testers on Thursday. The November dashboard update will bring Microsoft’s Metro style interface to the Xbox. Microsoft is also preparing to include YouTube and Bing on the Xbox. Bing users will be able to use Kinect’s voice recognition feature to search for movies, music and other content on their consoles. The new dashboard will also enable Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone integration with Xbox, see a video demonstration here.
NPD October highlights:
- Holding 44 percent share of the overall current-generation console market, Xbox 360 sold 393,000 units in October, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S. for 2011. This marks the eighth consecutive month Xbox 360 had more than 40 percent of the current-generation console market share.
- Xbox 360 unit sales grew 21 percent year over year in October, and it was the only current-generation console showing double-digit growth.
- Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in October (hardware, software and accessories) reached $490 million, the most for any console in the U.S.
- During the month of October, Xbox 360 held six of the top 10 console game titles including: "Battlefield 3," "Batman: Arkham City," "NBA 2K12," "Rage," and Xbox 360 exclusives "Forza Motorsport 4" and "Gears of War 3."