Xbox 360 tops yearly global sales charts

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has been dominating the top of the monthly sales charts for the U.S. video-game console market, but Microsoft has just taken the title of top-selling home console worldwide, as well.

Sony’s earnings report, issued recently, puts the PlayStation 3 at 6.5 million units sold worldwide for the holiday quarter, topping the 5.6 million units registered by Nintendo’s Wii for the same period — but falling short of the 8.2 million Xbox 360 sales reported by Microsoft.

Here’s the bigger news: The Xbox 360?s strong holiday quarter also put the Microsoft console ahead in worldwide sales globally for the full year of 2011, with 14.9 million units sold, compared with 14.1 million for the PS3 and 10.33 million for the Wii.

According to historical earnings reports, it’s first time the Xbox 360 has topped the worldwide console market for a full year of head-to-head competition with the PS3 and Wii.

Microsoft’s surge reflects the strong reception for the Kinect motion sensor and the expansion of the console as a home entertainment device, enabled by regular software updates.

Don Mattrick, the Microsoft video-game chief, had predicted last year at the E3 conference that Xbox 360 would become the No. 1 console globally.

On a cumulative basis, Nintendo is still the king of the current console generation, with 95 million Wiis sold worldwide, compared with 66 million Xbox 360 for Microsoft and 62 million Ps3s for Sony.

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