Toward the end of April, Microsoft announced its earnings for the first half of its fiscal year, revealing second-quarter losses that were relatively minor given the tumultuous global economic waters. A primary factor in Microsoft's buoyant performance was Xbox 360 sales, which stood at 10 million units during the six-month period--15 percent more than it managed over its entire previous fiscal year.
Today, Microsoft announced that total sales for the Xbox 360 have surpassed the 30-million-unit marker, a feat accomplished three and a half years after the system launched in November 2005. For comparison, Nintendo said as part of its full-year earnings announcement earlier this month that the Wii has sold 50 million units worldwide. Sony's console had sold 22.7 million units globally through its fiscal year ended March 31, 2009.
According to Microsoft, the milestone comes as the Xbox 360 experiences the highest growth percentage "of any console so far in 2009," with the publisher noting hardware sales have risen 28 percent over the year-ago period. Microsoft also said that the Xbox Live community has grown to 20 million active members, up from 17 million in January.
Microsoft also offered a number of miscellaneous figures associated with the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 has generated $14.5 billion in US retail sales since launch, according to Microsoft, with $5.9 billion of that total going to third-party publishers. Microsoft also said that the Xbox 360's current attach rate stands at 8.3 titles per system. Xbox Live membership has risen 136 percent since the launch of the New Xbox Experience in November, the publisher said.
"We expect our growth to continue to accelerate," said Microsoft senior vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business. "Our news at [the Electronic Entertainment Expo] next week will underscore our commitment to bringing blockbuster entertainment experiences to everyone and to growing the Xbox entertainment brand globally."
Microsoft's 2009 E3 press conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. PDT on Monday, June 1. Rumors abound as to just what Microsoft's event will contain, with purportedly leaked information pointing to announcements for a new motion-sensing camera, Metal Gear Solid 4 for the Xbox 360, a new title from Fable II studio Lionhead Games, the debut of Turn 10's Forza III, and new looks at Realtime Worlds' APB and Remedy Entertainment's Alan Wake.