The holiday shopping season began over the weekend with Black Friday, and retailers are already reporting record sales. Amazon and Etsy have both come forward with announcements of record sales, and now Microsoft is joining in.
Microsoft announced today that it sold 750,000 Xbox 360 consoles in the US alone in the week leading up to, and including, Black Friday. Unless Sony pulls out some impressive numbers, it looks like Microsoft will win the Black Friday sales race this year. Nintendo sold 1.2 million hardware units over the last week, including Black Friday, but only 400,000 of those were Wii U units. Even including its other home console, the Wii, it only sold 700,000 home console hardware units in total.
The Xbox 360 hardware itself wasn't the only sales milestone that Microsoft hit over the weekend. The company says that it sold 50 percent more three-month Xbox Live subscriptions during Black Friday this year compared to last year.
Since many had time off from work and school during the weekend, Microsoft also saw increased Xbox Live usage. The company says that over 14 million people were on Xbox Live on Sunday alone, and those players racked up 72 million hours of online gameplay in just that one day. Similarly, there was a 43 percent increase in people using the Xbox 360's entertainment options (i.e. Netflix, Hulu Plus) during the past week as well.
The only company that has yet to announce any Black Friday numbers is Sony. The company lowered the price of the Vita and the PS3, while simultaneously offering many attractive hardware/software bundles that may have increased demand. We won't know for sure until Sony says something, but the company's silence does lead one to worry.