A bumper Christmas for video gaming has pushed the total number of Xbox 360 consoles sold in New Zealand to almost 90,000.
Xbox 360 sold more than 10,000 consoles in December alone, according to market research company GfK Retail and Technology.
Xbox NZ category manager Tom Hunt attributes the strong sales to a number of factors including the price point that Xbox 360 is now offered at, growing broadband uptake that lets gamers play online, and an international trend that shows people are spending money on home entertainment, rather than on bigger ticket items or travel.
Hunt expects sales to remain strong in 2009 and predicts more people will connect their consoles to the internet than ever before.
“Our online component - Xbox LIVE - lets you play against friends, download content, and stream media throughout your house. As broadband take-up increases, so does the take-up of Xbox LIVE – more than half of Kiwi households who own an Xbox 360 are on LIVE, and globally we have more than 17 million members.”
In New Zealand alone, Xbox 360 owners have spent a total of 3.8 million hours on the Xbox LIVE network during 2008, he claims.
GfK Retail and Technology started tracking New Zealand console numbers in 2003, and figures show that despite economic concerns in 2008, the NZ console market has shown growth of around 15 per cent, with more than 177,000 consoles sold in New Zealand last year.