Microsoft has a lot to gloat about today, as it has announced that total Xbox 360 sales around the world have hit 70 million. That definitely isn't anything to shake a stick at, considering that the original Xbox only managed to sell 25 million units in its lifespan. The Xbox 360 surpassed that number way back in 2008, and since then has been climbing steadily.
We've been hearing a lot about Xbox 360 sales lately. It's been the top-selling console in the United States for many, many months in a row, a factoid that Microsoft isn't willing to let us forget so easily. Eurogamer points out that these number put Microsoft firmly in second place, behind the Wii's 96.56 million sales (as of June 2012), and the PlayStation 3's 63.9 million sales (as of March 2012). Of course, both the Wii and the PS3 have sold many more units since those numbers were reported earlier this year, but it seems unlikely that the PS3 has caught up to the Xbox 360 between March and now.
1.7 million of those sales were made in Microsoft's first quarter of fiscal 2013, the results of which were delivered last night. That's down quite a bit year-over-year, as Microsoft managed to sell 2.3 million 360s in Q1 of its fiscal 2012. One interesting thing to note is that Microsoft's research and development efforts were up a whopping 44% year-over-year to $140 million, which is essentially the best confirmation we can get of the Xbox 720's development without Microsoft just outright saying it exists.
While Microsoft is basking in the glory of its Xbox 360 sales numbers, video game hardware sales have been down overall. Those will undoubtedly pick up a bit during the holiday shopping season, but whether or not they'll drop off again once the new year arrives remains to be seen. Perhaps we need some new consoles to give the games industry a jump start again? Stay tuned.