Xbox growth outpacing industry, says Microsoft

The traditional pre-Christmas ritual chest-beating commences.

The Xbox is significantly outpacing its rivals in the console market in growth terms, with both hardware and software sales growing faster than the PS2 or Cube according to the latest figures from Microsoft.

Quoting statistics from US market research body NPD Funworld, the company claims that the Xbox is the only console which has continuously demonstrated positive market share growth in the past year, while sales of software in August grew faster than either of its rivals and boosted the console's attach rate to 5.8.

The figures show Xbox sales growing by six per cent during the year, while Sony's PS2 dropped 36 per cent and the GameCube dropped by 22 per cent. The PS2 figures are understandable, given that the console must surely be approaching market saturation by now - the Cube figures, however, are rather more worrying.

In software terms, Xbox software sales were up 58 per cent year-on-year in August, with the console grabbing two of the top four titles during the month to boost its attach ratio to 5.8 - the highest accomplished by any console after 22 months in the marketplace.

The figures are impressive, although we'd prefer to have seen figures for a wider time period than just August. Microsoft claims that it's currently holding a 27 per cent market share in the USA, and hopes to grow this share as we move forward into the holiday season.

We can expect to see plenty of these chest-beating announcements during that time, although this Christmas at least the company might have some positive figures to shout about rather than putting a positive spin on terrible figures (and then shouting about them anyway).

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