In a statement released to the media yesterday, Microsoft revealed that they have sold over 10 million units of the Xbox 360 in the United States. Considered by some to be the first benchmark of a winning console, the company suggests that this puts the Xbox in a unique position to maintain an ongoing lead in this generation of the console wars.
“This year will be the largest in the history of the video game industry, with Xbox 360 leading the charge in the U.S. and abroad,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “History has shown us that the first company to reach 10 million in console sales wins the generation battle. We are uniquely positioned to set a new benchmark for the industry.”
With 12 million members signed up worldwide for Xbox Live, the console now has a base of 19 million units around the world.
While the milestone is notable, the race is anything but over. According to an article by Travis Hudson at PC World, “Figures from the NPD research firm… show the PlayStation 3 at 4.1 million units moved and the Wii at 8.8 million.”
As Travis, and many others have noted, Microsoft had nearly a whole year to sell their Xbox 360 with no other new consoles on the market. If you merely account for sales per year, the Wii is clearly in a dominant position and the only thing that seems to have slowed them down was a shortage of consoles at the end of 2007 and into the early part of 2008.
Maintaining Microsoft’s soft dominance will certainly require a lot of work in the coming months, especially considering that the Xbox 360 doesn’t have the premium Blu-Ray player found in the PlayStation 3, or the party appeal of the Wii and it’s range of games. With the release of Xbox 360-exclusive titles Fable 2 and Gears of War 2 expected later this year though, Microsoft does have a few cards up its sleeves to retain the much-coveted lead.