Xbox 360 Sales Looking Good, LIVE Services Too

Here lately, it's been Nintendo bragging about massive sales numbers. This week, however, it's all about Microsoft. First comes the launch date of Bing, and now we're told that the firm's Xbox 360 is selling like hotcakes. In fact, sales of the unit have surpassed 30 million worldwide, which ain't too shabby for a company that just leaped in the game console realm a few years back.

Potentially more amazing is this statistic: there are over 20 million active Xbox LIVE members. With the keyword being active. In other words, a solid two-thirds of Xbox 360 users are considered active online participants, which certainly goes to show just how important online gameplay and functionality is to today's gamer. After the biggest year in its history in 2008, Xbox 360 achieved the highest percentage growth in hardware sales of any console so far in 2009, up 28% over the previous year.

Of course, Xbox LIVE is about much more than just multi-player games. Users can find all sorts of multimedia on there, and with the upcoming integrated with Zune HD, we fully expect that 20 million figure to rise. Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, was understandably proud of the accomplishment: "We've always been confident that Xbox 360 offers more entertainment value than any other console on the market, and these latest numbers show that consumers agree. We expect our growth to continue to accelerate. Our news at E3 next week will underscore our commitment to bringing blockbuster entertainment experiences to everyone and to growing the Xbox entertainment brand globally."

In case you think Microsoft's fine with just this, we wouldn't be so sure. We've heard convincing whispers that a new motion sensing system will be revealed next week at E3 in California that will bring Wii-like capabilities to the console -- needless to say, that should definitely rekindle interest in the already hot machine.