Following on from our earlier story, Microsoft have just issued a strange press release. Strange because usually these things are for announcing something, not announcing you've almost done something.
Aside from telling us they've nearly sold 500,000 Xbox 360 consoles, Microsoft let slip we've nearly spent as much money on the 360 as we did on the original Xbox. Given that the original Xbox sold 842,000 units to the 360's 500,000-ish, it's clear we're paying significantly more for our consoles, games and accessories this generation.
Finally, the other noteworthy fact sees over four million 360 games sold in Australia, meaning the average 360 owner has purchased around eight games. Not too shabby, it must be said.
Here's the complete spin from Microsoft:
Xbox 360 ends 2008 on a high: Closing in on half a million units sold in AustraliaLocal gaming industry experiences biggest week ever
SYDNEY 19 December 2008 - Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division (EDD) today announced that by Christmas, 500,000 Xbox 360 consoles will be sold in Australia*, making the console the most popular of any High Definition next generation platform.
This announcement coincides with the news that last week alone Australians bought over $100 million worth of gaming products, setting a record for the largest week ever in the history of Australian gaming.
Microsoft EDD Regional Director (ANZ) David McLean said, "Although it's a challenging worldwide economic landscape, Xbox Australia has seen an increase of 52 per cent in console sales in recent weeks compared to this time last year. By Christmas, Australians will have spent more on the Xbox 360 than they did on the original Xbox console.
"Xbox users to date have bought more software and accessories per console than users of any other next-generation console," commented McLean. "2008 has been the strongest year in Australia for Xbox since we entered the market seven years ago and we still have two weeks to go."
- Australians have spent $608 million since the beginning of October on gaming products, which is a 40 per cent increase on the same period last year
- Xbox 360 has now sold 25 million consoles worldwide with over 4 million games sold in Australia
- Over 50 per cent of Xbox 360 users in Australia are now connected to Xbox LIVE
- Australians are turning to gaming as a cost effective form of entertainment and a great option for those holidaying at home
Over 14 million people globally are connected through the Xbox LIVE social entertainment network worldwide. This Xbox LIVE growth momentum will continue locally as broadband becomes faster and ubiquitous.
* All figures quoted are supplied by GFK except for Xbox LIVE figures