Why Is The Xbox 360 So Popular In The U.S.?

Don Reisinger:

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is a sales juggernaut in the U.S. In fact, according to the latest data from NPD, the Xbox 360 led all consoles in sales for 24 months in a row. The console even was able to beat out the Nintendo Wii U in December – a surprising feat considering that console just went on sale in November and the Xbox 360 has been available for seven years.

The Xbox 360’s staying power in the U.S. is nothing short of astounding. In December, alone, Microsoft sold 1.4 million consoles in the U.S., indicating gamers see no reason to hold off on buying the device until the Xbox 720 launches later this year. Better yet for Microsoft, many of those folks sign up for Xbox Live, providing the software giant with a steady stream of revenue over the course of its lifecycle.

All of that success, however, has me thinking: why is the Xbox 360 – a console that, at launch, some thought would be trounced by the PlayStation 3 – so popular in the U.S.?

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Rainstorm812154d ago

Because its made in America....and most nations Support their brands

Abash2154d ago

Because you could get one for $200 since as early as 2008 and it is by far the most advertised console.

xPhearR3dx2154d ago

This. Everyone knows MS pumps out advertisements. I rarely watch TV, but I can't remember the last time I saw a PS3 ad. However, every time I do watch TV, I see at least one 360 advertisement. Even on Youtube, I see 360 ads all the time, never a PS3 one. When millions of people are seeing the 360 shoved in their face compared to the PS3, it makes sense they would go buy it over a PS3. At least in America. Not sure how the advertising is in other countries.

FriedGoat2154d ago

Microsoft can throw money at anything to get it to succeed and never run out. Just look at the friggin horrible metro on windows 8, they'll throw money at that until everyone thinks its ok to make desktop a SECONDARY feature.

kane_13712154d ago

in Eu Sony has finally begun advertising the Playstation brand, and i'm happy that they finally are doing it.
I hope they keep this attitude in the coming years.

nukeitall2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

So MS shouldn't spend money on marketing going against a company that has dominated the console gaming industry for over a decade?

Of course MS has to spend gobs and gobs of money.

It's quick to point out MS marketing, but what about the strong brand name Sony came out of at PS3's launch?

Still to this day, MS hardware is hardly a brand at all except for the Xbox 360.

I also want to point out that USA is the least national consumers. They are the most swayed by price and value of almost any nation by far. It is a highly capitalistic society.

There is a reason why Toyota is number one and Honda is number two, while Subaru is number three of cars sold in the US. If US was strongly national, they would have bought Fords, Dodges, GMC and so on.

PS3Freak2154d ago

I think that releasing a year early really helped.

It got the 360 the image of the "hot new thing" and we all know how people love to follow trends.

CommonSenseGamer2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

@Fried goat:

Rubbish, otherwise Zune would still be with us. Furthermore, tablet manufacturers are already dropping planned support for Windows RT on upcoming devices.

MurDocINC2154d ago

Simple, it released early, it was cheaper and had more games in early years.
My reasons it has better UI and controller.

darthv722154d ago

Have you ever used a Zune? if you had you would know it actually is a very nice portable media player. It failed to catch on because it was released too late in the craze.

Media players from the likes of sony, Creative, Archos all suffered the same fate when compared to the likes of the ipod domination. Zune didnt have a chance but it didnt mean it was a crap product.

Windows RT...I didnt know it was failing. I can see how it isnt price competitive with the droid OS because google is whoring that out like crazy. You can get really cheap android tablets from Memorex and so many off brand companies. I dont know to look at that as a good thing or bad thing.

Apple is the only ones to use their IOS on their devices. MS designed RT to compete with both droid and IOS but they need to be more cost competitive to be adopted by off brand companies like droid.

kikizoo2154d ago

advertisement, price, biased medias, 1 years to trap people and friends to xbl, magic firmware=free games since 2007.

TheGamerDood2154d ago

I'd really like to know this too. They haven't pumped out an original AAA title in couple of years(!) and they're ending off this gen with more Gears and Halo DLC. Not hate these games but that's just nuts to drop $200(on 4GB ver no less) on last gen hardware when next-gen is only a few months away.

pixelsword2154d ago

My goodness,

Now since the 360 was overtaken by the PS3, we're going to see a bunch of articles like this now, huh...

UnholyLight2154d ago

Not sure what you're talking about but only just since the kinect came out alongside the new console has it been $200 in Canada anyways. It has NEVER been that cheap way back in 2008

DOMination-2154d ago

Sony have spent loads in Europe on advertising. They are the main sponsors of Champions League football with two adverts at the beginning and end of each ad break.

Gamer19822154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

MS pumped out a TON of advertising in Japan too at one time and it was cheaper than PS3 there aswell yet it still got beat by ps3 those weeks 10/1 advertising sure helps a lot I dont disagree with that point but Americans have a form of loyalty to American products. If it was as simple as advertising they would have conquered the world.

People think it could be releasing early but it came out even earlier in Europe, it had a year and a HALF in Europe before PS3 thanks to bluray shortages and PS3 still beat it.

mattdillahunty2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

i think there are multiple reasons why the 360 is popular in America. for the record, i'll mostly be comparing the 360 to the PS3 in this post, since the Wii tends to target a different demographic in its marketing, style, and library.

1. the 360 was the first console of this generation, and thus had a bigger time to build a fan base. so when somebody goes into Gamestop or Walmart and is thinking about buying a console, there's a good chance that many of their friends already have 360s. and many people make the choice on their console based on how many friends they can play with, which friends will get it in the future, etc. it's kind of a networking thing, and when there are (or were) more people that have one console, it's kind of a trickle down effect.

2. this kind of piggybacks off the friend aspect from the previous point. this generation has been one built around online, communication, and the social experience of gaming. even if it's a social experience through their online service. needless to say, as far as home consoles go (which means i won't include the amazing Steam), Xbox Live has provided the best online experience and social aspect for gamers. it is so much easier and more fun to get a group of people together to socialize, play games, or just meet up on XBL. i think this is especially important for a country like America.

3. marketing. not much else to say here. Microsoft knows how to market the Xbox, and they've done a fantastic job of it.

4. first person shooters. i'm not going to stress this point, because i think it's been overdone that "hurr durr people just want a 360 to play shooters." but to SOME degree it's true, the 360 is unquestionably the go-to home console for first person shooters, and Gears as well, even though it's a 3PS.

5. the PS3 had a rough start. from the pricing to the lack of rumble to the poor library for the first year and a half to many shoddy ports to bad marketing.....even though the PS3 has been kicking serious ass for years now, it definitely got off to a bad start, which made the 360 a much easier choice for the go-to console of a hardcore gamer.

also, let's not forget that while (imo) the PS3 has the much better exclusive library, the 360 does DOES have all the amazing multi-platform titles that have been released this generation. sure, it may lack in constant AAA exclusives, but that doesn't mean its library sucks.

DA_SHREDDER2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

It's by far the only machine thats sole purpose is to over charge to play online and play mostly 3rd party games that are also on the competitors machines that have no online charge. This just proves that Americans as a whole are a bunch of morons.

ShinMaster2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

- It's Amurican!

- Tons of marketing behind it.

- A fad that caught on for no reason other than Gears of War and Halo.

ChrisW2154d ago


In Japan, you'll see as many if not more 360 commercials than Sony (PS3 and Vita combined) commercials... And these are mostly only shown during cartoons that games are based off of.

Whereas, Nintendo commercials are about triple of both MS and Sony... And you are likely to even see them during the evening news.

MikeMyers2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

"Because its made in America....and most nations Support their brands "

Really? Is that why the PS2 had way more market share than the Xbox? Is that why Honda and Toyota do so poorly in the U.S.? How well does Ford and Chevy do in Japan? How many Xbox 360's have sold in Japan? Now ask yourself this, what is the ratio of Wii's and PS3's of the overall console base in Japan compared to the U.S.? Now ask yourself this, what is the ratio of Xbox 360's sold in Japan and compare that ratio to how well the Xbox 360 does in the U.S. You will soon see a huge discrepancy in what you just said. The U,S. supported the Wii just like Japan did. Seems to me Japan never wanted to support the Xbox 360, even when Microsoft tried to secure Japanese support from Square-Enix and exclusive titles like Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey.

As the world was shifting to the iPod as a portable music player it was Japan that was still supporting Sony's MP3 player more so than any other country. The Sony Walkman also did extremely well in the U.S.

EVILDEAD3602154d ago

Let's keep it 100% real. I'm talking s a gamer who has owned every major system for the last 3 generations.

This is not a knock against Sony or Nintendo.

Most of the people who hate the 360 won't come to grips as to the REAL reasons why the 360 is popular here in the US.

In fact, most of the 360s hate on the internet comes from the perspective of people who don't live in the US.

If your talking STRICTLY America there are many reason why the 360 is dominating america, but there a some major ones that you can point to.

The #1 reason Xbox is huge the U.S. is Xbox Live. I could go on and on why it has been so advantagous for Micrsoft, but Live is what Micrsoft got right and it payed off huge this gen and will be a huge reason the 720 will have a great early run next gen.

The #2 reason is Micrsoft has the biggest hardcore exclusives this gen by far in the US.

Last gen the PS2 dominated the world, but the truth is in the US it came down to two exclusive series Grand Theft Auto & Madden.

Fast forward to this gen and as big as those games are in the states, both are multiplat and do well console wide.

But,if you go are asking what is popular in the US. Then nothing on the PS3 can come close to the impact of Halo and Gear.

In fact, US alone 4 Halo games, 3 Gears games, and Fable 3 all outsold every PS3 exclusive out there.

Gran Turismo is a beast worldwide but it was Forza 3 that outsold Gran Turismo in the US.

Call of Duty rules the PS3 sales charts game wide, but it is a fact that in the US the COD fanbase is dominates the PS3 by upwards of 3-4 million.

So again Xbox Live plays a huge factor with COD as when it comes to the most popular game in the universe and i's fanbase migrating to the next gen.

This goes for huge multiplats like Skyrim (that had the best version) and Battlefield 3.

Again we are talking popularity, which means sales, which means what are gamers actually playing daily.

We see all the fankid/troll comments that show people need to bash the entire country just for their console of preference. But, you notice they never say where they are from when they do.

The Wii dominated this gen, but the fact is in the US the 360 is actually only a couple a million behind the Wii in overall sales.

All console manufacturers advertise and Sony had a huge ad campaign leter in the gen. But, it's clear that Micrsoft supported it's biiger games and Kinect as they should have.

When you have an online service that more gamers prefer to play on and you have 2 exclusives that as so big that gamers in the US line up on the thousands in the freezing cold just to play at midnight, then you are doing something right in that region.

Will it play out that way next gen is anybodys guess, but Micrsoft in the drivers seat in the US at the moment.


MikeMyers2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

As Logic and dedicatedtogamers have alluded to it is the social aspect Microsoft got right. Xbox Live got people into the social realm of gaming on consoles. It was also wise of them to include a headset with each system. I imagine social gaming with voice chat is way more popular in the U.S. than it is in Japan and the best support for Xbox Live and other applications stems from the U.S. territory.

Microsoft also aligned itself with the bigger franchises more like Call Of Duty. In fact watching ads almost made it seem like they were exclusive to the Xbox 360. They know how to market things like Kinect and put money behind well known games like Grand Theft Auto. I personally think Kinect failed to materialize into what was advertised but they pushed it to success with huge campaigns.

What I do find interesting in the forums is just how much Microsoft is resented. People may comment about Nintendo and Sony and what they do wrong but there seems to be actual hatred towards Microsoft more so than the others.

insomnium22153d ago


"... USA is the least national consumers. They are the most swayed by price and value of almost any nation by far"

So then PS3 should absolutely be the top selling console by far.

Making it seem that monetary value is all people in USA think about is lying. The numbers prove that without a doubt.

sikbeta2153d ago

X360 is not made in America, isn't it? :P


XBOX LIVE + Afordable Price + Advertising = WIN

Boody-Bandit2153d ago (Edited 2153d ago )

End statement.
I'm not being smug. MS obliterates Sony and Nintendo when it comes to marketing. They are a marketing machine and always have been as a company. Just look at the video included. It's a knock at MS (from Apple) but it couldn't be more accurate and one of the biggest reasons MS has been so successful. People can say or think what they want but investing a TON of money into advertising "usually" pays off 10 fold.

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dedicatedtogamers2154d ago

Social media features are also very popular in the US, and that plays a big role in the 360's success, since it is the best "social media" console on the market. A lot of people are buying it as a Netflix+Facebook+Twitter machine with the occasional dance Kinect game thrown in. This is evident when you look at the diminishing sales of 360 exclusive franchises.

kane_13712154d ago

people can't be that stupid, you don't buy a damn console for Netflix and Facebook, you buy it to game on.

dedicatedtogamers2154d ago

@ kane_1371

But that's what people said about the PS3, wasn't it? "I don't buy my consoles to play Blu Ray".

Nowadays it's all "so what if I only have two exclusives? I use my 360 all the time for Facebook and to watch Netflix!"

Septic2154d ago

What are you on about? Facebook flopped on the 360.

Maybe....people like the games on it?? I mean you can't get Halo, Forza, Gears of War, Left for Dead, and other titles on other consoles?

mwjw6962154d ago

Yes this is why Halo is the 3rd best selling in the world right now. Its right behind BLOPS 2. The 360 ver is also 3mil ahead of PS3.

The 360 was only sold as a gaming machine for many years, it is just in the last year it has became a media/casual machine.

PS3 was a cheaper ($600 still not cheap to me) blue-ray player for many years, and thats what some people bought it for.

Gamer19822154d ago

Social media is huge worldwide its just as bit in EU as US. People should compare EU to US rather than Japan..

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morkendo232154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

haaaaaa, REALLY!! I Live In AMERRRICA

i supported SONY!!!!! SINCE ps1,ps2

PS3 all the way.

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2154d ago Replies(1)
portal_22154d ago

2 reasons:

MS started this gen a year early, Sony weren't ready for next gen. This 1 year difference allowed MS to gain considerable ground in the US.


MasterCornholio2153d ago

I would argue that Sony was more ready than Microsoft due to the fewer issues that their consoles had at launch. But this is just my opinion.

portal_22153d ago

Hmm, your opinion clarifies my point :)

Yes, Sony were ready - a year after the Xb launched. They weren't ready to launch the PS3 when MS launched Xb.

Christopher2154d ago

1. It's not made in America. The software is, but even then a lot of the employees of Microsoft are imported.

2. It's big in the U.S. because of marketing. Plain and simple. Microsoft is one of the biggest advertisers in the U.S. in all medias. You'll hear radio stations talk about how they're are going to use Bing to look up who just got married. You'll see TV Shows with Microsoft phones and tablets in them (even the day that they released the Surface RT tablet, it was in a Hawaii 5-0 episode). You'll see them in every major magazine. You'll see their commercials. They are one of the key advertisers on Hulu. They are the key advertisers on GT, CNET, Wired, and many other technology/gaming related sites.

And along with all that advertising comes the people who will want to keep them coming back and happy. They want Microsoft ad money. So, while Microsoft doesn't force anyone to be nice, the people take it on themselves to do what it takes to keep them happy by not hanging on the stories that may put them in a bad light (which means they hang on the stories that put others in bad light). It's a natural cycle for them, not one forced by Microsoft, as they want to protect their bottom line by being nice to those who give them money.

So, marketing is why Microsoft has done as well as it has in the U.S.

Christopher2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

@Septic: Marketing.

Halo and Gears have more money in their marketing than any other first-party titles in the history of consoles. Heck, they put $500 million into Kinect alone for 3 months. That's more than what Sony used to market all of their first-party games over 3 years.

Call of Duty is marketed (and bought by Microsoft) to high heaven.

Marketing is key here. Sure, they have good games, but so does everyone else.

Note, I'm not saying Microsoft products aren't worth buying, but why they are dominant in the U.S. is primarily due to their marketing. They could still be successful, but not as dominant as they are if they marketed at the same level as Sony or Nintendo.

UnholyLight2154d ago

I have noticed also, in almost every tv show or movie when someone is playing a video game or something and the perspective is from the tv or whatever, that the person is ALWAYS holding an Xbox 360 controller. Smart placement I guess

Imalwaysright2154d ago

The 360 may be manufactared in other countries but it still is a north american brand.

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Rainstorm812154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

Most of you must be blind, yes the MS adverting machine is very strong but let's looks at the original Xbox......out around 25mil in sales 15mil was in America alone....YES A WHOPPING 60% of total hardware sales in one country.

Microsoft being a known US brand leads to their console being supported heavily in the US....same thing with Apple.....It's not about quality as much as its about popularity and brand recognition that makes this sell great here in the US

Edit: Also at the moment over half of all total 360 sold are in the US.........exactly like last gen.

NirvanaInChains2154d ago

Not true, Unfortunately auto sales say different. Also with samsung dominating phone sales that says different as well. I always do my part and try to stay with USA brands but alot of people don't. I bet 9/10 xbox owners did NOT buy there system over another just because its a american brand and i bet majority of xbox owners hardly care about that anyways because most people under 20 cant comprehend/don't care why its important to buy your own country's brands of products. Adories comment sums up the real reasoning.

Christopher2154d ago

That's because marketing was focused in those regions. Not because they are made there. People market heavily here because people from the U.S. buy more technology and games than any other region.

I agree with NirvanalnChains above in saying that 9/10 xbox owners did not buy because it was an American brand. I'd actually go so far to say that those who did buy because it's American measure fewer than 1% of Xbox owners in the United States.

adorie2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

massive advertising budgets, a trove of partnerships, timed/exclusive deals, brand recognition, tapped the shooter market, Call of Duty, Xbox Live, previous install base.

I think that about sums it up.

Kran2154d ago

Justin Biebers canadian... I'm sure a lot of canadians actually want to punch his face :/ so yeah. Your theory is kinda wrong.

KingKevo2154d ago

There are other reasons like marketing and so on as well, but that's what it comes down to imho as well. People in the US just prefer Microsoft over another foreign console manufacturer. It might not be the reason that they would give if you ask them and a lot may not even be aware of it really, but I think Microsoft did a good job establishing everything they produce as a first choice for consumers in the US in general.

aquamala2154d ago

it's popular... because it's popular. most people want to play with their friends, and if you're in US you're most likely have more friends that have a 360 than a PS3. I say it's because of the one year head start.

Tito082153d ago

Not really since most of my friends have PS3s,only around 5 of them have 360s!!!

user39158002154d ago

Cause its made in China lol... I think its due to the online service, better game from third parties friends hype of the system, controller and a mixed of first party games. Well, Im just guessing, does not matter to me, but I enjoy Xbox 360 the most this gen. I hope Sony reels me bak in with PS4, just like the WII, I only used them for first party games and PS3 for blu ray movies. They all have their positives, although I was dissapointed with the WII and now the WII-U. WII-u pad its too big for a6 years old that constantly drops it lol...

Rainstorm812154d ago

Very true so is most things "made in America "

Bathyj2154d ago

and because they saw it on tv

3-4-52154d ago


Cod, Halo, Almost all multiplatform games are better on Xbox, Borderlands, GTA is now playable on xbox instead of Sony exclusive.

All that + about 100 other reasons.

jessupj2153d ago


PS3 are where the games are at.

JamieL2153d ago

@ jessupj
Actually "Nope", to you. The "Games" are on 360, PS3, Wii, WiiU, Vita, PSP, DS, 3DS, PC, Phones, the list can go on and on. The PS3 does have an AMAZING library, no doubt, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion on what games they like. The PS3 isn't even close to being the only place for games. There are amazing games on all these device's, and the only thing to cause you to miss out on any of them is this kind of laughably bias certainty that the console(s) you don’t own, “suck”.
Grow up.

princejb1342154d ago

3 words
Word to mouth

Consumers trust their friends more than advertisement
When one friend has one they talk to their friends to also get one and so on and so on

KwietStorm2154d ago

Honda Civics sell like crack in the 80s IN THE USA. Samsung Galaxy models sell millions IN THE USA. The first Xbox sold squat anywhere. Why do people keep falling back on the nationalistic crap? Putting aside everything that just makes the 360 a good system, Americans buy what's "cool." You cannot underestimate the importance of their solo time on the market from 2005-2006. It granted them the opportunity to get that mindshare going, and when people here see something popular on the shelf, they buy it too. It didn't even matter that they spent countless hours on a PS2. Its what's "it" right now. I don't even have to say anything about Microsoft's advertising dollars. They'll throw money from the bottomless well at every product even if it ISN'T selling (Windows Phone, Windows 8). Look the disparity with Apple and Android. Android dominates globally, but is neck and neck with the iPhone in the US, for the same reasons I stated about the box.

Imalwaysright2154d ago

You must be dreaming if you dont think that many consumers tend to have a preference towards products made in their own country.

Imalwaysright2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

@ people that disagree without even replying. Its called consumer ethnocentrism. Look it up.

Mounce2154d ago

I agree with Rainstorm....

It's same with any area....Japan loves Japanese-made things and Japanese companies more than they would an American one or North American. Not in a racist manner....but bias happens.

America are also, very high in 'patriotism' so why not make it easy and say HURRRR. 'MURRICA!!!

showtimefolks2154d ago

1.advertisement more than sony or nintendo

2.its a product of an american company so american will support it like japan supports sony and nintendo more than ms

3.came out before wii and ps3 and has been as low as $200 since 2008.

here is a counter question why doesn't xbox360 sell as well world wide? so these kind of articles aren't need IMO.

ps3,xbox360 and wii were all successful so its better to have 3 successful consoles than one. competition means we get better hardware/software support

enjoy gaming

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

I never got how less games and less variety is more for xbox fans. ni no kuni will be aswome as well as last of us , puppeteer and beyond! Gears:Spin off seems to be enough for ps3 haters.

honest I think casual gamers are the ones buying xbox now. Kinect is going hard and MS has no new AAA games since alan wake.

JamieL2153d ago

Kind of like how the Sony Smash Bros was just fine for the PS3 crowd last year? We forget so soon how sorry last year was for Sony's to many to count exclusives. I hate double standards so much.

Just_The_Truth2154d ago

If only people were so patriotic.....the truth is it was cheaper, it was an underdog and it realized a year before anything else.

1Victor2154d ago

@Rainstorm81 Not even close here in the U.S we love the media and if you promote bacon water as healthy like MS do we'll be drinking bacon grease 24/7.

otherZinc2154d ago

Gears Of War
XBOX Live: Live is a unified system that works without a day 1 patch.

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Oh_Yeah2154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

Bigger controller for people with bigger hands, it's cheaper (the base price is but people don't take account in the long run its more expensive), faster download speeds with wireless N, no mandatory installs for the impatient or small hard drive users, it was released first most people bought it first and just stuck to it because of friends or not caring what the other console offered,then there's the motion gaming, Halo, it's made by an American company ... There's all the reasons I could think none of them are really that good a reason imo to pick it over ps3 but whatev.

kenshiro1002154d ago (Edited 2154d ago )

It's popular because of Halo, Gears of War and the price.

And advertising. I can't buy a bag of Doritos before I see a Halo advertising.

CommonSense2153d ago

This is such a lame comment.

If this were true, Honda and Toyota wouldn't be kicking Chevy and Chrysler's asses.

ALLWRONG2153d ago

Because Americans like it and Americans buy what they like.