September marked the Xbox 360's best month of 2008, in terms of sales in the U.S — its performance in Japan hasn't been too bad either. Following a price cut that made the 360 the least expensive current generation console on the market, the company moved 347,200 units to American consumers. While it wasn't enough to supplant the Wii as the best selling console in the country, it was enough to beat the competition from Sony.
We spoke to Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for Xbox 360, just after NPD sales numbers hit to get his take. Unsurprisingly, he seemed rather pleased with the company's recent hardware successes.
"We expect to continue our price advantage over the PlayStation 3 for a long time," Greenberg told us, pointing to the $199 price tag of the company's entry level Arcade console, assuming that Sony would issue no pre-holiday price drops. "And we feel confident that we'll outsell the PS3 this holiday season in North America and in Europe. We'll do it on a global scale."
As for what those consumers are picking up, Greenberg said "We've seen lifts across all consoles, but the Arcade is doing exceptionally well."
Microsoft touted a 42% increase, month to month, on NPD hardware sales data. Greenberg made sure to point out that the August survey period consisted of a four week month, with the September period five weeks long. That, Greenberg said, illustrated "flat growth" of the PlayStation 3.
Fanning the flames of the console war of words, Greenberg harped on the Xbox 360's abnormally high attach rate, which at 8.1 games per console, outpaces the PS3 by 2:1 and the Wii by 3:1. "And that doesn't include [Xbox Live Arcade]games," he boasted.
Okay, we get it. You're swimming in cash and exclusive and high attach rates. Good job. Is Xbox Live going to work this holiday season? Because it didn't last year. How prepared are you, Microsoft man? How will Live hold up?
"Hopefully, very well," Greenberg said "We've grown our team and our infrastructure over the past year." With the New Xbox Experience, Gears of War 2 and even more Live ready titles putting a strain on the service this holiday, we'll see, Aaron. We'll see.