Microsoft shifts a massive 1.7 million Xbox consoles in November

By Tom Warren, on 10th Dec 11 11:20 am with 28 Comments

Xbox 360 'Slim'

Microsoft’s Xbox sales increased again in November, hitting a record 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 17 out of 18 months. The Xbox 360 outsold both the Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 in November with 1.7 million units in the United States. 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. November’s sales marked the biggest November sales the Xbox has ever experienced. Microsoft shipped more than 960,000 consoles in the U.S. alone during the week of Black Friday. More than 800,000 were sold in just 24 hours.

“It’s been a heck of a few days for Xbox 360,” said Microsoft’s Jeff Meisner in a blog post on Friday. “Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 has closed another impressive month, strengthening its position in the current-generation console market with record sales of 1.7 million units in the U.S. in November, the only current-generation console to sell more than one million units, and nearly double the second-place console.”

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console has held more than 40% of the current-generation market share for nine 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 rolled out a number of holiday based changes to the Xbox recently. The software maker refreshed its 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

Microsoft also started to push copies of the Xbox 360 fall dashboard update out to Xbox owners. The November dashboard update includes Microsoft’s Metro style interface to the Xbox. Microsoft is also preparing to include YouTube on the Xbox later in December. Microsoft’s Xbox dashboard now includes Bing search. Bing users can use Kinect’s voice recognition feature to search for movies, music and other content on their consoles. The new dashboard also enables Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone integration with Xbox, see a video demonstration here. Microsoft also shipped an Xbox LIVE application for iPhone and iPad users earlier this week.

NPD November highlights:

  • Holding 49 percent share of the overall current-generation console market, Xbox 360 sold 1.7 million units in November, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S. for 2011. This marks the ninth consecutive month Xbox 360 has had more than 40 percent of the current-generation console market share, and eleventh straight month the Xbox was the top selling console in the U.S.
  • Xbox 360 unit sales grew 23 percent year over year in November.
  • Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in November (hardware, software and accessories) reached $1.4 billion, the most for any console in the U.S.
  • During the month of November, Xbox 360 held four of the top 10 console game titles including: “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations” and “Battlefield 3”.
  • Xmark Live

    can i have some of that money microsoft….better yet spend it on making windows phone 7 number 1 in the us

    • Alex H

      How about spending it on making WP7 number 1 worldwide!!

    • Based_graham

      Trust me they are working on it the OG Xbox alot of people considered it a write-off but look what happened now. 

    • Guest

      It’s still down about $4 billion after more than a decade of effort and investment. So those calling it a write-off haven’t exactly been incorrect.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah wake me up when they’re in the black on XBox for it’s lifetime.

    • Guest


      What impact does that have on reported earnings now?

    • Monkey D Black

      how do you come up with that $4bn number? you pulled that one out of your hat by any chance?

    • Guest


      Approximation. $4b reported lost on Xbox 1 (Dean Takahashi did a nice summary recently. Google it). Another $4b lost on 360 before it reached profitability (see MS’s financials). Minus the last few years of profit.

      I was actually being very generous. It could still be $5b down. And that’s not counting the cost of companies they acquired for the effort along the way.

    • Monkey D Black

       I checked it out. and the only blog I see for this “Dean” figure is: which the last blog entry was in 2008. his book writen about xbox was released in 2008….and coinsidentally, it was in this year 2008 that the xbox360 became profitable. he even goes as far to say Microsoft lost the console wars because of the redrings, but to how it looking now to me is that Microsoft is actually winning for almost 2 years now.

      and for your information, 2008 isn’t recent. if you have something more resent why not post it?

      regardless of how you want to look at the company’s entertainment division, they’re making money, and bringing in revenue. the devision is doing big things for the company. the xbox is also helping with the company’s image to regular people which will help the company 4 folds in the long run.

    • Guest


      Well, okay, but only because you asked so nicely:

      Regarding the rest, the discussion was about the historical losses which I provided and *you* took issue with. A review of the above and MS’s financials will serve to confirm the accuracy of what I said.

      Your opinions on why it still makes sense despite those is a different topic altogether.

    • Monkey D Black

       I read the article, and it only mentions $4bn being spent on the original article. and Microsoft doesn’t see it as money lost, it’s seen as money well spent building the xbox brand, which from the same article is bringing $1bn in profits each year according to the same article.

      I don’t see it as lost money either, you spend money to make money, so get over it. this $1bn a year profit, could easily turn into $4bn a year in profits for the company. that money you claims they lost wasn’t lost. it was spent stratigically, which seems to be paying off.

    • Guest


      Missed this part in your response below:

      “Microsoft $3.7bn in loses. still doesn’t mention if this is after revenue or before revenue.”

      After. That’s what losses are: revenue – expenses. 

    • Guest


      Okay, now you’re just getting annoying. You obviously didn’t review MS’s financials, despite me telling you that was a necessary step in the analysis, and haven’t even carefully read the article I provided, since even that references the subsequent years of 360 operating losses (which you could have then looked up), including the $1b RROD charge, all of which is additive to the $4 b lost on Xbox1.

  • Impartial

    if anything I take from this that MS is fricking good at marathons, so I hope a similar outcome for WP

    • BadManDuke

      I remember when Don Mattrick made the prediction at E3 that Xbox would be the best selling console this year (worldwide). Even as a diehard Xbox fan, I though he was pushing it.

      Now after this announcement, I think he is getting the last laugh.

  • Jairo Luciano Alves

    Definitely an spectacular win for xbox this year. The team deserves a great deal of praise for the acomplishments so far. They have managed to turn a once undisputedly dominated market upside down. Congratulations.

    • William Moore

      That is true… I’m sure many people thought xbox would flop due to Sony but look at them now.

    • Based_graham

      People say WP7 will flop due to Android lets see what happens :)

  • Anonymous

    Finally Microsoft has created a 3rd giant profit engine to add to Windows & Office. It just took 10 years.

    • Guest

      Stupid, they’ve had a third giant profit center for a while now. It’s called STB.

    • Monkey D Black

      then I guess this is their 4th giant profit engine then, right? at least they’re not a one trick poney

    • Guest

      It’s not close to the same league and likely never will be. But yes, it’s now the 4th significant profit contributor.

  • Sniperboy

    And the naysayers said that Microsoft could not making it in the gaming market…

  • Guest

    If you look at what Google is doing with Native Client (running heretofore console-only games in Chrome), or is happening with gaming on iOS, MS has no reason to be complacent. Nintendo and Sony are yesterday’s competitors in this space.

  • Pupaboy

    In wonder if Microsoft should think about adding an app to the Xbox that will allow you to view  your Outlook calendar.  Since they are linking the WinPhone to MS Office, why not link MS Office it to the Xbox too. 

    • TGR

      Probably would be easier to link your WindowsLive/Hotmail account.

  • Anonymous

    To the trolls claiming XBox is in a $4 billion hole, show me proof.

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