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November 29, 2012

Black Friday's Surprising Big Seller? The Xbox 360

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

While for gamers, one of the biggest bits of news was about Wii U sales in their recent big launch weekend, another much older system actually dwarfed those sales. Was it the Nintendo 3DS? No, they only sold about 250,000 units over the Black Friday week. Was it the PlayStation 3? As it turned out, no, it was actually Microsoft's (News - Alert) Xbox 360.

The Xbox 360, during the week of Black Friday (News - Alert), destroyed all comers by selling fully 750,000 total units, beating Microsoft's own expectations for sales by a significant margin. Just how wide a margin was unknown, and it's further worth noting that, according to reports, it's actually down from the same time last year, in which 960,000 units were sold. Additionally, reports suggest that 14 million people worldwide were using Xbox Live on just Sunday alone, Xbox Live Gold subscription card sales were up, and "Halo 4" also saw some very impressive, though un-quantified, sales numbers.

Those numbers are, of course, positively fantastic for a system that's been available to gamers for the better part of a decade, and especially with a new one likely to make an appearance sometime next year. Some may attest the sales to mechanical failure on the Xbox's part, though the "red ring of death" issues that plagued the earliest Xbox 360 units have been less evident.

So what's behind the gains? Some point to recent new bundling in which the Xbox 360 comes equipped with Kinect system and a series of games, along with an Amazon Instant Video credit for $10, which was regarded in some circles as a move to help cement Microsoft's position as a full-service entertainment center tool. Some point out that the data from the Black Friday / Cyber Monday (News - Alert) sales haven't even been factored in yet--this is data from the holiday week--and we're not even getting a look at the truest numbers yet. Some suggest that big games like "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" and "Halo 4" as well as the upcoming "Bioshock: Infinite" release coupled with a holiday weekend for extra play time, may have something to do with it as well.

There are certainly more than enough possibilities to go around, though with a new version in the works for next year it would certainly suggest that caution might be the order of the day rather than making new purchases. Still though, the Xbox 360 had an impressive weekend--it's easy enough to wonder if the Wii U might have done better had Nintendo had more of them on hand, especially when a system from the mid-2000s is outselling it nearly two to one--and there's likely to be plenty more interest as 2013 dawns and we start hearing--hopefully, anyway--about Sony and Microsoft's upcoming offerings.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.



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