Xbox 360 top U.S. console for the seventh month in a row

By Tom Warren, on 12th Aug 11 1:10 pm with 43 Comments

Xbox 360 'Slim'

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 topped the U.S. sales charts again in July.

Market research company NPD released its latest sales figures on Thursday. Despite a temporary slip in December (due to shortages), Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console has dominated the charts for 13 out of 14 months. The Xbox 360 outsold both the Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 in July with 277,000 units. The figures are down from the same period last year, due to weak sales over the summer. “Though the video-game console and software market has slowed industry wide, Xbox 360 remains on track to have the biggest year in Xbox history – an unprecedented feat in the sixth year of its lifecycle,” said Microsoft’s Jeff Meisner.

Microsoft’s July sales mean the company held 45% share of the overall current-generation console market. “In addition to the console’s momentum, the Kinect for Xbox 360 continues to appeal to consumers in new ways. Kinect Fun Labs has garnered more than 1 million downloads in only two months”, revealed Meisner. “With “Gears of War 3” launching next month and more major launches to follow during the holiday season, Microsoft expects Xbox 360 to maintain its lead throughout the year, ending 2011 as the number one console worldwide.”

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.

June highlights from NPD Group include:

  • Holding 45 percent of the overall current-generation console market, Xbox 360 sold 277,000 units in July, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S. for 2011. This marks the fifth month Xbox 360 has held more than 40 percent of the current-generation console market share.
  • Total retail spending on the Xbox 360 platform in July – including hardware, software and accessories – reached $250 million, the most for any console in the U.S.
  • J A

    Good job, the result of great innovation in user experience and more.

  • BigChiefSmokem

    OMG but Microsoft makes horrible consumer products like Xbox 360 and Windows 7

    • Andrewbware

      horrible consumer products like xbox 30 that are the top US console for 7 months in a row.

  • Anonymous

    thats why i love MS….leader in innovation…

    • Gamer

      unlike the leader of propaganda, that forms troops of iSheeps.

    • Guest

      I had to check and make sure this wasn’t April fools day.

    • Anti-M$

      Yeah … good joke !

      Love a criminal monoply, thats dumber than dumb !

  • GP007

    Winz!   I’ve grown tired with Sony, I might have gotten a PS3 as well at some point, but now time has passed and I don’t care enough, plus I don’t have enough time to game like I did a few years ago.   PC and 360 is enough for me.

    • Kane Gao

      I generally like my PS3. I mean, it’s a good cheap Blue Ray player at least…

      Two things I don’t like it as a gaming console:
      1) Pain in the gorilla ass communicating with others in multiplayer. I mean, come on, on Xbox Live we’ve been having voice chat since Day One…

      2) Short HDMI signal cut out when launching and exiting a game. It’s nothing really, with almost zero impact on gaming efficiency. But that blackout just makes me feel the console has been rushed out. As if Sony was making another PS2 (when consoles didn’t have dashboards and had to be restarted to launch a new game disc), found out Nintendo and Microsoft were doing dashboards, and did a clumsy change of directions in the middle of the process…

  • Kane Gao

    Very much like to know what’s the sales like in European and Japan (ouch on that) like.

    Come to think about it, years ago when Microsoft was launching the good old Xbox, every critic, IT observer, blogger and analyst was hollering how Microsoft is lame and slow and dumb and came too late into the game to win anything, much like what they are talking now about WP7. And the result? The late comer took one generation to rule them all (at least in the US).

    There’s nothing a serious Microsoft can’t achieve. 

  • Jason Hughey

    I can remember when “analyists” were saying that Microsoft should sell off the Xbox division.  Hilarious!

    • Guest

      Xbox, even with the recent profits, is still about $5B in the hole over its lifetime. Last quarter the entire group made just $32M in profit. You can like Xbox as a product, but as a businesses investment it’s been a financial failure. And that’s exactly what the analysts said would happen. So much as I hate to defend analysts, most of whom are asshats, they got it right this time.

    • Anonymous

      I think you may have got your figures messed up. Their profit was $679 million for the entertainment division. Bit more than the $32 million

      Q2 2011 Revenue by Division
      Windows & Windows Live: $5.056 billion, down from $7.193 billion a year earlier.Server & Tools: $4.39 billion, up 10 percent from $3.978 billion a year earlier.Business: $6.032 billion, up 24 percent from $4.864 billion a year earlier.Online Services Business: $691 million, up 19 percent from $579 million a year earlier.Entertainment & Devices: $3.698 billion, up 56 percent from $2.381 billion a year earlier.

      Q2 2011 Income by Division

      Windows & Windows Live: $3.251 billion, down from $5.417 billion a year earlier (20 percent growth when adding deferral).Server & Tools: $1.776 billion, from $1.464 billion a year earlier.Business: $3.965 billion, up from $2.947 billion a year earlier.Online Services Business: Loss of $543 million, up from $463 million loss a year earlier.Entertainment & Devices: $679 million, up $365 million a year earlier.

    • Guest

      No. EDD profit for the year was $1.324B, which isn’t too shabby and is reflected in my $5B left in historical losses (it used to be $6-8B). Profit for the quarter, the topic, was $32M.

    • Anonymous

      The point is the X-Box will only recoup the investment in 5-6 years. It’s a failure from a bean-counting perspective.

    • Guest

      It’s a failure from several perspectives; on a standalone basis financially, its ability to contribute in a meaningful way to MS’s overall growth, undermining confidence in the business acumen of MS’s leadership, etc. 

    • Jason Hughey

      Not really.  The investment in Xbox, its technologies (Live & Kinect in particular) and its services (video, music) will not only be beneficial to the Xbox brand, but to the Windows family as well.  Kinect will be incorporated into Windows 8 which will allow the OS to innovate in ways that other platforms will not.  Corporate as well as personal communications will benefit greatly.  Investment in Live networking gave birth innovations in data compression and streaming that is unmatched.  Microsoft would be light years behind the competition in video and music services if it were not for Live.  When video chat REALLY takes off, it will be across multiple devices, not just a pad or a phone.  15 million+ Kinect devices already in the living room will help make this possible.  The Xbox and its technologies are great investments and will help Microsoft move forward.

    • Guest

      I’m talking the past decade of actual. You’re talking what might occur in the future. Over a decade of actual, the results are what I said above.

      Regarding your specific future focused arguments, MS didn’t need Xbox to have technical strength in video or music. Their investments in both areas predate Xbox, and of course they could have bought several leading companies in those areas for a fraction of what has been lost on Xbox. Of course, MS is behind its main competitors in both anyway (Google and Apple). Maybe if they hadn’t gotten defocused on Xbox, they wouldn’t have.

      Kinect-like functionality also didn’t require Xbox. Indeed, the company who MS licensed the base technology from has teamed with Asus to deliver it generically for the PC platform. There’s been some good learning from XBL, except that MS hasn’t been successful in social networking anywhere else and already had deep expertise in cloud-computing from hotmail, messenger, etc.

      The fact that you can’t quantify how and why Xbox has been a good investment over the last decade, and instead have to point to forward-looking intangibles which may or may not occur, kind of says it all.

    • Anonymous

      Ah well I’m no business man. I’ll be honest I thought the Income was the revenue minus costs so 2011 Q2 Revenue at $3.7B, Income at $679M. What the hell are these figures talking about then and how do we get from $679M to $32M ?

    • Arnold Lee

      m_el: you are correct – Profit (income) was $679M for Q2, based upon the numbers you quoted.  I have no idea where Guest is coming up with the $32M “profit” number (assuming your numbers are correct).

    • Guest

      What part of last quarter being Q4, not Q2, are you having trouble understanding? Q4 profit for EDD = $32M. This ain’t rocket science guys.

    • Guest

      What part of last quarter being Q4, not Q2, are you having trouble understanding? Q4 profit for EDD = $32M. This ain’t rocket science guys.

    • Guest

      No. EDD profit for the year was $1.324B, which isn’t too shabby and is reflected in my $5B left in historical losses (it used to be $6-8B). Profit for the quarter, the topic, was $32M.

    • Jinge

      It may be right, but you should think about the whole microsoft environment as well: WP7 is taking advantage of XBox products, and Windows 8 may be much more integrated, to let the xbox run the house as a mediacenter. If MS decided to enter seriously the video segment, XBox is there to take care about it. The Kinect project would never have been so successful if it was windows only, and MS will take advantage of it for the next windows generations, etc
      So even if the game section is not positive while summing its pasts results, I think the total result is not bad, and has to be taken for the next few years.

    • Guest

      Analysts aren’t paid to care about soft benefits. Their focus is on the financial results generated from the money invested. If Xbox can maintain its current rate of profit, which isn’t a given since a new console will be required soon and that always hurts profitability, it *might* breakeven in another four years. That would make fifteen years total to get to that point, which is unheard of among top tier companies. Most work on 2-5 years breakeven plans and some, like Apple, consistently manage to do it in less than two.

      And for every soft benefit you can name, I can name a soft cost. How much management time has been devoted to Xbox over the decade? What if that $20B had been invested into search, or tablets, or mobile, or buying an enterprise software player like SAP, or a new (from the ground up) version of Windows that was kick ass?

      When Ballmer gets punted, which shouldn’t be more than a year or two away now, I think his replacement will give serious thought to jettisoning the entire division. It’s just not profitable enough or growing fast enough to maintain as part of a software company’s portfolio. A hardware player, maybe. But not software.

    • Jinge

      Everything isn’t about money you get from a product, you have to think about it as a brand too.
      I think that even if they earned less than they spent, they still have something now they can sell. If you can sell the angry birds company for more than 1billion, I think the XBox division worth much more, so they are profitable.
      Hopefully MS does not always think like analysts – they also build something.

      If you want to apply you logic to google, they would have never build android, and only kept their ads division, and would have sold everything else. Then they would begin to fall, collapse, etc…

      Financial results are a good indicator for some domains, but not to apply automatically to everything..

    • Guest

      True, not every investment is about money. But every multi-billion dollar one over a decade is, at least for a public company. And in fact that’s how the Xbox investment was sold to MS shareholders. So no, you don’t get to come back a decade later and say, “it was really a branding exercise”.  Yes, the Xbox division can be sold, especially right now while it’s probably at maximum profit before another round of console investment is required. Analysts and several large MS investors have already been pushing for that to happen. You might get 1X sales or $8-9B. On the negative side you lose quite a bit of top line growth and a much smaller hit to profit.

      Google didn’t build Android. They bought it and then added to it. And it’s nothing like Xbox. There was no promise of profitability or that this would be a driver of future revenue/profit growth. There’s no massive hardware manufacturing/marketing/distribution investment that’s mostly a loss leader. There’s just an annual software dev effort and OEMs take it from there. And Android directly expands/defends their existing highly profitable advertising business.

    • Jinge

      I would never blame MS to have been into the game market. As they know they will probably sell less desktop OS in the coming years, due to the diversification of electronic devices and the growth of others like MacOS, Android, iOS and maybe ChromeOS one day. So they have to diversify before being in the same position than in the smartphone sector.
      They would probably have to bet also on other sectors like driving assistance or domotics (home automation) which will both increase in the next years. It would be the same problem: there is other actors, they would probably not get to profitability quickly, but MS can do something great there.
      I think with the XBox product they had more a long term strategy than a financial strategy, which is great for innovation and for everybody, rather than the short term/financial objectives strategy which is often limited to 5 years, and company focused, instead of consumer focused. 
      They are doing great on that way I think, and I hope they are going to continue. 

    • Guest

      Diversification = good. Diversifying into something that still has a large net loss after a decade and is offering a very poor margin (relative to software) = bad.

      To put it in perspective, Apple spent a couple hundred million and less than two years inventing iPhone. iPhone now does $40B of revenue at 40% margin and is growing at 70%. MS has invested $20B and a decade in Xbox. It’s doing 9B in sales, less than 20% margin, growing at less than half that rate, and has yet to break even.

    • Jinge

      Lol I prefer to have 15 businesses that have 20% margin than 1 which has 40% but can stop at any time.

      Since the IPhone, Apple had not done anything new ;)

    • Guest

      “Since the IPhone, Apple had not done anything new”

       Except start another new business that’s already measured in the $10B’s: iPad.

    • Stephen Floyd

      Which is a big ol’ Ipod. So yes, nothing new.

    • Shanghai Dan

      Amazon, given the initial capital sunk and raised, will never dig out of the hole. I guess they should just close up shop as well, huh?

  • Benjy91

    Surprising, no really decent games have been released recently, its the usual Game Starvation period before Christmas.

    • Aaron

      Yeah, there has been a serious dry spell latley.  Although some nice smaller games have come out.  My friends and I are enjoying 15 dollar Trenched while I patiently wait for Mass Effect 3 and Gears 3.

  • Arnold Lee

    In fact, the number of $32M doesn’t even pass the common sense factor.  How do you think you generate over 1B in profit over the course of a year if you pull in just 32M in one quarter?  The more I look at the numbers, the more you are correct.

    • Guest

      Q1 $382M
      Q2 $679
      Q3 $225
      Q4 $32

    • Paul

      Those numbers are correct.

  • Mark Richey

    Healthy sales means product viability which in turn means adopters like me get to continue to use the platform. My Zune HD may not be anything in the market now, but the success of XBox Live and soon a WP7 when I get the chance here in Japan will mean the viability of my HD purchase and investment in the Zune Pass wil continue to pay off. My customer loyalty will pay off in the end for Microsoft as well.

    • Guest

      Far more people know Zune as a failure and think worse of MS, than bought one and actually are more loyal. It was another failure. In fact it makes Xbox look like success by comparison.

    • Fur Dworetzky

      I don’t really think most people think of Zune as a failure or a success. You’re extending it out into the entire consumer electronics sector, which includes people like that guy next door who has three old sattelite dishes on his roof and your grandma. A more accurate statement would be that most people don’t have any kind of real positive or negative reaction to Zune because it didn’t penetrate the market as well as MS would have liked.

    • Guest
  • Diego3336

    And you guys keeps wasting your times with this long known iTard troll…