Microsoft Corp. has sold 600,000 of its new Xbox 360 video game consoles in the United States since its November launch, an analyst for market researcher NPD Group said Friday.
The Xbox 360 debuted to much fanfare on Nov. 22 in North America, where the unit has been in short supply. Analysts, video game publishers and retailers have said shipments during the key holiday season fell short of expectations. (MSNBC.com is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)
Microsoft last week confirmed its target of selling between 4.5 million and 5.5 million Xbox 360 consoles during the current business year, which ends June 30, 2006.
Microsoft said in a statement that its challenge has been to meet consumer demand for the Xbox 360. The company, which did not comment on the NPD numbers, said its manufacturing facilities are running at full capacity and that a thirdmanufacturer will come online next month.
Sony Corp., the world's biggest video game console maker, and Nintendo Co. Ltd are preparing to ship their next-generation machines in 2006.
The NPD Group measures nearly two-thirds of retail sales in the United States and makes projections for the remainder of the year.