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 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 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”.