Technology & Science

Sales numbers point to video game makers weathering economic storm

Microsoft Corp. said a strong 2008 pushed sales of its XBox 360 console to 28 million units worldwide, the latest number suggesting the video game industry may have fared better than expected during the holiday season.

Microsoft Corp. said a strong 2008 pushed sales of its XBox 360 console to 28 million units worldwide, the latest number suggesting the video game industry may have fared better than expected during the holiday season.

Microsoft said on Monday it sold more gaming consoles than in any of the previous three years it has been available. While the company did not release figures, the company had stated in its annual report last summer that it had sold more than 19 million consoles as of June 30 and announced in the fall it had sold an additional 2.2 million consoles in the quarter ending Sept. 30.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company is expected to provide more details when it releases its second quarter earnings on Jan. 22.

Microsoft also said it has expanded its worldwide sales lead over rival Sony's PlayStation 3 by more than eight million units, based on internal sales data.

Nintendo, however, has been the biggest selling console, with more than 34.5 million units sold worldwide as of November 2008. Both the Wii and PS3 were also released about a year after the XBox 360, giving the Microsoft platform a head start.

Microsoft said part of the credit for the sales spike can be attributed to the company's decision to drop the price of the console to as low as $199 in September, or $50 lower than Nintendo's Wii console. The most inexpensive Sony Corp's PlayStation 3 console retails for $399.

The other companies have also given hints that their performance hasn't been adversely affected by the sluggish global economy.

In December, Nintendo said its U.S. sales remained bullish, with just under 800,000 units of the Wii sold during the week after the U.S Thanksgiving.

Retail analyst NPD Group is expected to release its December sales figures in North America later this month.