Today Microsoft announced that its Xbox 360 console was the best-selling console in December, moving 1.4 million units. That made it the best-selling console for the 24th consecutive month, according to the NPD Group.
Xbox 360 titles were also seven of the top ten console games during the month, according to NPD. This implies that Microsoft controlled a large chunk of the total console-spend for the period, a key month due to the holiday sales cycle.
The Xbox 360 is all but an ancient device, having been launched in late 2005. The introduction of the Kinect sensor, which became the fastest selling consumer electronics device of all time, provided a boost to the console now a year past, propelling it for another year of market leadership.
2013 should be the year in which the Xbox 360 is replaced, with Microsoft likely introducing a device at this year’s E3 event. The company’s Xbox ambassador, Major Nelson, published a countdown clock on his website to promote the start of E3. Given that Microsoft is promoting the event 150 days in advance, it’s reasonable to assume that the company has important plans.
If it doesn’t introduce the next Xbox at the shindig, expect a collective sigh of disappointment. At the same time, a new Kinect sensor would be a strong complement to any new Xbox hardware. For now, Microsoft is winning with its device ancien, putting its competition on the side as the company continues to ship eye-popping amounts of its living room computer.
As a final note, it’s always worth remembering that Microsoft has repositioned its Xbox unit away from being a gaming device, and has instead reworked it into a multimedia machine for the whole family. This hasn’t hurt sales.