Microsoft Responds To December NPD Sales, Seems Pleased

Microsoft is pretty positive about the Xbox 360s showing in December, calling it "the biggest month for Xbox 360 in history." The company boasts outselling its Sony competition two-to-one for the holiday quarter. Mmmm... selective!

But let 'em gloat, we say. While the Xbox 360 didn't quite double sales of the PlayStation 3 last month, it came close enough to easily justify a "nearly." It also saw Xbox 360's "weekly sales run rate" increase 38% over November, which I'm sure is a very important milestone for people who measure weekly sales run rates.

Perhaps the choicest self-congratulation from Microsoft's response is that the 360 "generated more life-to-date dollars at retail for third-party publishers than the PS3 and Wii combined" to the tune of a half-billion dollars. Champagne all around!

For more reasons why Microsoft is poised for more success in 2009, read the official statement.

December NPD results are in and Xbox 360 highlights include:

* December ’08 was the biggest month for Xbox 360 in history
* Xbox 360 sold more consoles, games and online entertainment experiences in 2008 than any previous year
* In the all-important holiday quarter, Xbox 360 outsold PS3 by more than 2:1

Despite a decline in overall consumer spending during the holidays, video games continued to shine as a bright spot, with Xbox 360 registering record-setting numbers in December, selling 1.4 million consoles in the U.S. (December NPD data).

Not only did the Xbox 360 see its weekly sales run rate increase 38 percent compared to November, it also continued to outperform the PS3 by two-to-one for the third month in a row (December NPD data).

With third-party game sales for Xbox 360 increasing from $298 million in November to $504 million in December, it’s no surprise that Xbox 360 has generated more life-to-date dollars at retail for third-party publishers than the PS3 and Wii combined. “Gears of War 2,” “Call of Duty: World at War,” “Grand Theft Auto IV,” “Madden NFL 09,” “Left 4 Dead” and the critically acclaimed “Fable II” were some of the hottest Xbox 360 games in 2008. Three Xbox 360 games appeared on the top 10 list in December, including “Call of Duty: World at War,” “Left 4 Dead” and “Gears of War 2.” (December NPD data)

“Our goal for 2008 was to reach new audiences by bringing ground-breaking games and entertainment to Xbox 360,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Looking forward, new waves of innovation will extend our position as the global leader in interactive entertainment.”

As announced by Microsoft last week, Xbox LIVE continues to experience rapid growth; online transactions over Xbox LIVE grew 84 percent in 2008 over 2007. More than 40 million downloads took place through the LIVE Marketplace in December alone (Microsoft internal data). With consumer appetite for immediate online entertainment growing exponentially, Xbox LIVE is poised for another great year in 2009.