Reputable research outfit NPD has released its latest console stats which indicate that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has dominated for 15 of the last 16 months in terms of unit sales – very impressive statistics indeed.
The Redmond-based company’s flagship gaming portal has consistently outsold Sony’s PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii, with sales approaching half a million in the month of September alone. The Xbox 360 has remained perched proudly at the summit for the whole of 2011, and that trend is set to continue with Microsoft’s Jeff Meisner adding that “The popular digital entertainment system is now poised to finish 2011 as the best-selling console.”
Obviously, the opinion of a Microsoft clerk is subject to strong underpinnings of bias, but with such sales figures and month-by-month dominance, who would argue with such an assessment?
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console has commanded upward 40% market share for the six months to date, with the introduction of the Kinect last November cited as one of the main reasons for the success. The Kinect gave gamers that extra dimension, taking the interactivity that made the Wii such a huge hit, and bringing it to a console with genuine power in order to topple the competition, which it appears to have done with aplomb.
Considering the original PlayStation, launched in 1994, had a 7-year head start over its main rival, the first-gen Xbox, the inroads Microsoft has made in the console market in the last 10 years are nothing short of admirable. The company has shifted in excess of 50 million 360 consoles, with 60% opting to purchase access to its online Xbox Live facility – which says a lot when one considers that Sony’s PlayStation Network is FREE to use. The Kinect sold 10 million units in its first 2 months on the market, although Nintendo must take a share of the credit for highlighting the consumer need for interactivity.
Microsoft, with its domineering presence on 9 in 10 computers worldwide, is arguably the recipient of an unfair amount of negative press and criticism based purely on the fact that most use Windows. Having said that, the recent BUILD keynote seemed to draw the online population back in favor with one of its founding fathers. Wooed by the Metro finesse, along with a feature list a million miles from the Dark Ages of Vista, BUILD has certainly improved Microsoft’s PR, and the fickle online community firmly awaits progress of Windows 8 and its associated acts.