What a month it’s been for Xbox!

First, Microsoft announced major plans for the world’s best-selling entertainment hub at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, including new game titles from blockbuster franchises like Halo, Gears of War and Call of Duty. Also at E3, the company introduced voice search with Bing on Xbox and Kinect that will enable people to use their voice to tell their Xbox what entertainment content they are looking for. As if that wasn’t enough, Microsoft also announced that UFC and YouTube will join ESPN, Hulu + and Netflix on Xbox LIVE.

And if anyone has any doubt that 2011 continues to be the year of Xbox 360, check out the latest numbers from NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks the digital entertainment industry. For starters, Xbox 360 has sold more consoles than any other platform for 11 of the past 12 months in the United States. Now in the seventh year of its lifecycle, Xbox 360 is on pace to have the biggest year in its history, a feat never achieved by any console in history.

May 2011 NPD highlights include:

• Xbox 360 sold 270,000 units in May, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S.

• Xbox 360 console sales during May were up 39 percent year over year, the largest growth of any current generation console on the market. May also marked the seventeenth month of year-over-year hardware sales increases.

• Xbox 360 game sales reached $140 million.

• Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in May (hardware, software and accessories) reached $265 million, still the highest among current generation consoles.

• During the month of May, four of the top 10 console game titles were for Xbox 360 including: “L.A. Noire,” “Portal 2,” “Mortal Kombat,” and “Brink.”

Microsoft's Xbox E3 Press Briefing

The second half of 2011 promises to be monumental for Xbox 360 with new games like Kinect: Star Wars (that’s a screen shot of the Kinect: Star Wars demo at E3 above), which will be available for the coming 2011 holiday season.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog