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Microsoft Corp. said Thursday that its Xbox 360 video game console has reached life-to-date sales of 30 million units. While the company is tangibly ahead of its main rival – Sony PlayStation 3 (about 22 million) – Nintendo Wii (about 50 million) is unreachable for the system from the world’s largest maker of software.

“We’ve always been confident that Xbox 360 offers more entertainment value than any other console on the market, and these latest numbers show that consumers agree. We expect our growth to continue to accelerate. Our news at E3 next week will underscore our commitment to bringing blockbuster entertainment experiences to everyone and to growing the Xbox entertainment brand globally,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the interactive entertainment business at Microsoft.

Over the course of this console generation, U.S. consumers alone have spent $14.5 billion across all categories on Xbox 360 at retail, according to figures from NPD Group cited by Microsoft. After the biggest year in its history in 2008, Xbox 360 achieved the highest percentage growth in hardware sales of any console so far in 2009, up 28 percent over the previous year, NPD found.

Microsoft announced that to date, consumers have downloaded nearly 1 billion pieces of gaming and entertainment content from Xbox Live Marketplace, including a broad array of premium high- and standard-definition movies and TV shows from top studios and networks around the world. In addition, the software giant indicated that Xbox Live community had reached 20 million users.

Microsoft Xbox 360 console is based around triple-core microprocessor developed by IBM, high-definition visual processing unit designed by ATI Technologies, I/O controller engineered by SiS and some other key components. The gaming machine provides a broad set of multimedia capabilities in addition to games. Different versions of the console cost $199, $299 and $399.

Tags: Microsoft, Xbox

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