Microsoft: Xbox 360 Growth ‘More Than Triple’ PlayStation 3

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Adding to Sony’s ongoing hack-attack tribulations, Microsoft’s taking a victory lap today, claiming its Xbox 360 games console outsold Sony’s PlayStation 3 during the first four months of 2011.

Microsoft claims that, life-to-date, it’s sold 55 million Xbox 360 consoles worldwide (out of 38 countries) and that “sales are accelerating.” In an almost exultant press statement, the company said the Xbox 360 was still the top selling U.S. console for 2011 (the numbers jibe with NPD Group data) as well as “ten of the past eleven months,” before delivering the coup de grace:

In the first four months of 2011, Xbox 360 has seen a 29 percent year over year increase in sales, which is more than triple the growth of PlayStation 3 and the largest growth of any console on the market.

2010 was the Xbox 360’s best year ever, says Microsoft, claiming 2011 “will be another record year,” and adding—it seems accurately, if a bit smugly—that “no other console in history can make that claim six years into their lifecycle.”

What else. There’s Xbox LIVE, which Microsoft says can lay claim to nearly 35 million “active” members, spending “an average of 60 hours a month on the service” (the company embellishes by noting that amounts to “2.1 billion entertainment hours a month”). And for streaming media biz enthusiasts, the company says users are today sucking down three times as many videos today as they were a year ago.

Sounding a bit Apple-ish, the company celebrates the Xbox 360’s diversity by referring to “the magic of Kinect.” Forget the magical thinking part: Microsoft says it’s sold over 10 million Kinect sensors as well as “more than 10 million standalone Kinect games” globally. That’s actually a bit of a dismal figure, since it indicates an attach rate of 1-to-1—an industry low as console-game attach rates go.

See the chart up top for Microsoft’s back-of-the-envelope-inside-a-spreadsheet breakdown. The company’s “normalized” console sales to show how the Xbox 360’s broken away from the pack in the U.S. to approach Nintendo’s Wii and, surprisingly, surpass even the lofty PlayStation 2, for cycle-to-cycle growth.

It’s anyone’s guess where that goes rolling forward, of course, and the Xbox 360 has its work cut out if it wants to surpass either the Wii (86 million worldwide) or PS2 (150 million worldwide) in overall console sales.