With over eight million units of the Xbox 360 sold to date in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Microsoft said that in the six years since its launch, this past Christmas has been the best one ever for the console.
Comparing December 2008 sales to the year previous, the console had 100pc growth in France, the UK, Italy, Germany and Spain, according to GFK Chart Track data. This means the 360 experienced more growth than the Sony PlayStation or (gasp) the Nintendo Wii in the same timeframe, said Nick Gibson, founding analyst at Games Investor Consulting.
On the other hand, Nintendo reported back in early November that 10.4 million Wii consoles had been sold in the European market to date, which leaves Nintendo in the lead overall for total number of units sold. However, for a serious gaming console that has been around in various forms for the past few years, the Xbox has been gaining quite a lot of new fans over the last year or so.
This bump in player numbers would appear to be down to not just the success of exclusive games such as Halo, but the family appeal and lower pricing of the Xbox Arcade console, whose price-tag was dropped to €180 in September 2008.
Another thing Microsoft can boast about is that the Xbox 360 has been consistently outselling the PlayStation 3 in EMEA since its launch. Again, this strong performance would appear to be down to pricing.
“We reduced the entry-level Xbox 360 ERP in September, understanding the need for great value, and European consumers have responded enthusiastically,” said Chris Lewis, regional vice-president for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business in EMEA.
“2008 saw us grow faster than any of our competitors, and we over-achieved in sales during the crucial Christmas selling period,” he added.
By Marie Boran