GamesBeat

Microsoft's Xbox 360 console sales rise 38 percent in third quarter

Microsoft reported today that Xbox 360 video game console sales are up 38 percent compared to a year ago. The company said in its earnings call that it sold more than 2.8 million consoles in the quarter. But the Xbox 360 has been enjoying a resurgence, growing at faster rates than the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii since Microsoft launched a redesigned console in June.

The Entertainment and Devices division reported revenue of $1.8 billion, up 27 percent from $1.41 billion a year ago. During the quarter, Microsoft launched its Halo:Reach game, which sold more than $200 million in revenue in its first 24 hours when it went on sale in mid-September. Now the game has sold $350 million worth.

The company said that it expects 30 percent revenue growth in the current second fiscal quarter ending Dec. 31. Because of holiday game sales, the second fiscal quarter is usually the strongest of the year.

For the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2011, Microsoft expects revenues to be up in the mid-20 percent range. The Entertainment and Devices division also includes other consumer software, PC games, Zune, and Windows Phone 7. Phones with the Windows Phone 7 software will launch in the U.S. on Nov. 8. And Microsoft’s $149 Kinect motion-sensing system launches on Nov. 4.

The industry has high expectations for Kinect, which allows you to control a game through your body movements rather than a traditional game controller. I’ve played with Kinect and it’s a fun experience that will likely appeal to casual gamers. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can snare hardcorer gamers with the system. The games aren’t perfect and the controls aren’t precise, but Kinect is the best thing Microsoft has going to steal some of Nintendo’s Wii users.

Lifetime sales of the Xbox 360 are at 43.9 million units, according to VGChartz. The Wii has sold 74.6 million units, and the PS 3 has sold 38.9 million units. Microsoft said the Xbox Live online gaming service continued to grow.


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