Xbox 360 sales top 8 million in Europe

Publisher touts console's "biggest sales period ever" for EMEA region during holiday 2008, doubling up on last year's performance.

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With the global economic crisis looming over every sector, investors and industry watchers are keen on good news of any kind coming out of the all-important holiday shopping season. For its part, Microsoft has continued to put on a strong showing with its Xbox 360--in Europe, at least.

The Washington-based company announced today that its gaming console saw 100 percent year-over-year sales growth in the region during December. Although Microsoft did not elaborate on exact sales data for the month, the publisher did say that to date, the Xbox 360 has sold 8 million units in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, a figure it claims is more than 1 million greater than archrival Sony's PlayStation 3. During Microsoft's July-September reporting period, the publisher said that lifetime sales of the Xbox 360 had surpassed 23 million.

Citing sales figures provided by GfK-ChartTrack, Microsoft further claimed today that the 360 was the "fastest-growing" console in Europe during 2008. That growth was bolstered by 2008's holiday sales period, during which the Xbox brand saw its biggest gains since being introduced to the region in 2002, according to the publisher.

Microsoft has not yet updated the Xbox 360's North American sales performance. However, a company representative confirmed for GameSpot that an announcement would be "coming soon." In the past, such updates have been made during Microsoft's keynote presentations at the Consumer Electronic Show. This year, the publisher's keynote is scheduled for Wednesday, January 7.

Thanks in large part to sweeping price cuts enacted in September, the Xbox 360 easily bested the PS3 in unit sales during November, outselling Sony's console 836,000 units to 378,000, according to the NPD Group. However, both systems fell well short of Nintendo's industry-leading Wii, which sold more than 2 million units in November alone.

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