Xbox 360 tops U.S. console sales in March, third month in a row

By Tom Warren, on 15th Apr 11 12:30 pm with 9 Comments

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

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 9 out of 10 months. The Xbox 360 outsold both the Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 in March with 430,000 units. The sales figures are up 28% from the same period last year. “Xbox 360’s success last month and over the last several months was driven by strong console and software sales, as well as ongoing consumer demand for Kinect,” said Microsoft’s Jeff Meisner.

Microsoft’s Kinect accessory is the likely reason the Xbox sold well in January,February and March. The company experienced some shipment issues in December which meant it failed to secure the top spot. Microsoft launched its 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 planning to introduce Hulu Plus for U.S. Xbox LIVE subscribers in Spring this year. The software giant will also push out a Spring dashboard update that will include support for the recently announced Avatar Kinect. Microsoft also has the massive Gears of War 3 title on the horizon for 2011 which is likely to set sales records.

March highlights from NPD Group include:

  • Xbox 360 sold 430,000 units in March, maintaining the number one console spot for the third month in a row.
  • Xbox 360 console sales were up 28 percent year over year, the largest growth of any current generation console on the market.
  • Total retail spend on Xbox 360 platform (hardware, software and accessories) reached $457 million, still the highest among current generation consoles.
  • During the month of March, four of the top ten console game titles were for Xbox 360 including: “Homefront,” “Dragon Age II,” “Crysis 2,”and “Call of Duty: Black Ops.”
  • GP007

    Cha-ching! Looks like the Entertainment and Devices division will turn in a nice profit this quarter I expect. No way they’re selling the new 360s for a loss, and 10million kinects I know for sure aren’t selling for a loss. The kinect sales alone are at $1.5b so I have to wonder what the R&D costs for it were and if/when they’ll make that back.

    • Mark

      Yeah, they should. But it’s unlikely to make up for the weakness in Windows and possibly Office due to negative PC growth, particularly the large decrease in North American PC sales (where MS makes a lot more money).

  • Mister Twister

    I hope they use all that money that to finance win8!

    • brian L

      I think windows 7 is financing windows 8 just fine ;p

    • Anonymous

      I think kinnect sales will finance Win 8 once they release the SDK…

    • Mark

      Windows development costs annually are measured in $ billions. Kinect, despite its impressive market success, may not even be profitable yet (Xbox consoles are still breakever after years of success and refinement). If it is, it’s probably $ 200 million or less. Remember that retail markup is typically 100% and there are significant costs for MS associated with manufacturing, distributing and advertising the unit. Still, it helps with perception of the company. And if they embrace it fully in W8, it could provide a much needed jump start for the ailing PC market.

    • Mark

      should say “breakeven” not breakever.

  • Aaran O’Keeffe

    Well lovely. I wonder what Microsoft will say at E3 mind considering what Nintendo has announced.

  • Koowie

    Wii is really slipping. XBox is the main go to console now. Sony needs something big for their next release.