In its monthly NPD U.S. game sales reaction email, Microsoft has trumpeted that its console is the only one on the market to experience year-on-year growth, while noting that Xbox Live downloads have more than doubled from the same period a year ago.
The console sold 330,000 units in the U.S. in March 2009 -- a 25% year-over-year increase, and according to Microsoft, one that flies in the face of its competitors' "double-digit declines".
The company has also revealed that the number of Xbox Live users paying for content on the service has more than doubled since this time last year, with 128% growth in unique users purchasing XBL content -- be it use of Netflix, other video, games, or DLC.
Microsoft has also revealed that the first three months of the year have seen 220% increase in DLC purchases, led by Grand Theft Auto IV and Fallout 3, as well as its own shooter titles Gears of War 2 and Halo 3.
According to its internal numbers, there has been a 62% increase in downloadable game add-ons compared to the same period last year, with 516 pieces of game content released via Xbox Live for 63 titles.
Microsoft can claim three of the top 10 games of the month -- with the overall number one game Resident Evil 5 on its platform; the title's PlayStation 3 version placed fourth. Platform-exclusive first-party RTS Halo Wars placed third, while 2K Sports' Major League Baseball 2K9 placed 10th overall, notably behind Sony's MLB '09: The Show, which slotted in at sixth.
In its email, Microsoft also claims a top 10 appearance with Guitar Hero Metallica, which disagrees with the official chart as released by the NPD Group -- the game does not appear in its official top 10 at all. Microsoft has clarified with Gamasutra that it disregards sales of handheld games to formulate its top 10 -- which strips out third-placed Pokemon Platinum and slots in GH: Metallica at #10.
So GH: Metallica for the 360 is #11, thereby beating the Wii version. More interesting, Microsoft doesn't even look at handheld games...I guess it's not TOO surprising, but it still seems odd that they'd release press stuff that completely ignores two systems.
Well, one system. You know what I mean.