Though we may all now be fully wedged into a recession, it seems a fair few of us still have enough cash spare to go out and buy Xbox 360s. Apparently the console enjoyed its best Christmas period ever, with sales in the fourth quarter of 2008 double those of the same period the previous year.
Over the course of 2008 some eight million Xbox 360s were sold in the EMEA region (incidentally the Xbox 360's sales lead over the PS3, apparently), with total worldwide sales now having hit the 28 million mark. Microsoft's Regional Vice President, Interactive Entertainment Business EMEA, Chris Lewis was understandably pleased, commenting: "Christmas 2008 was a resounding success for Xbox 360. 2008 saw us grow faster than any of our competitors and we over-achieved in sales during the crucial Christmas selling period. We reduced the entry-level Xbox 360 ERP in September, understanding the need for great value, and European consumers have responded enthusiastically. With eight million consoles sold since we launched, and consistently out-selling PlayStation 3 in EMEA, we're poised to build on this success in 2009."
With the recent price drops, raft of brilliant game launches, such as Fable II and Gears of War 2 and the new dashboard all hitting in Q4 last year, it's hardly surprising Microsoft saw good sales. The trick now will be keeping that trend going in the increasingly dire financial climate 2009 is enjoying.
Microsoft's rivals didn't do badly either, Sony seeing a 130 per cent sales increase over the last few months of last year, no doubt thanks to the PS3 getting some decent gaming fodder of its own too - if you own a PS3 but don't own LittleBigPlanet you are, and I mean this, an idiot. And let us not forget the Wii, an astonishing three million units of which were reportedly shipped in December alone!
A recession at Christmas is a good time to be a console manufacturer, it seems.