After many thought that Microsoft entering the console area with something called an ‘xbox’ in 2001 was nothing more than an internet joke, the company has said that 2010 was its biggest year yet for the brand. According to figures released over the holidays from the US stat-crunching firm The NPD, Xbox 360 was the only console to show year-over-year growth (42%), making it the fastest-growing console in 2010. Microsoft’s Major Nelson says that the November launch of motion controller Kinect, along with titles like Fable III and Halo: Reach, "drove Xbox to the biggest year in its history”. But it wasn’t just down to a couple of sequels and a hands-free controller; the fact that Microsoft spent a massive $US6.2 billion on marketing the machine throughout the year also helped.
December Xbox 360 console sales peaked at 1.9 million in the US, making it Microsoft’s biggest month ever in the history of Xbox 360. And at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, Microsoft said it ended the year with 50 million Xbox 360 consoles sold worldwide since launch, 30 million active Xbox Live members and eight million Kinect sensors sold in just the first 60 days of being available. But what about 2011? Well, the company has Gears of War 3 for starters, and there’s bound to be plenty more noise on the Kinect front.