Microsoft has had a bit of a hard time of late. It faces a one billion dollar bill to fix all those broken 360 consoles. It's facing a class action lawsuit from disgruntled gamers who're fed up with the Xbox 360 (allegedly) scratching their game discs. And it's just about to be overtaken by the Wii in the all-time sales list.

Add to that the fact that Microsoft makes a crushing loss on every console it sells, and you could be excused for thinking that the Redmond company might be a bit miserable right now. But that's not the case: Microsoft says it stands to make $155m (£77.5m) from its new Halo 3 game on just its first weekend of release.

Both Microsoft and Sony are both making a loss on hardware sales in order to claw back the money through software sales. And that looks as though it's going swimmingly for Microsoft, putting the Xbox 360 firmly into the 'healthy' category.

Xbox 360 soaring sales

Incidentally, $155m for one weekend's sales is more money than any movie has made on its opening weekend, which shows the kind of money that's flying around in the world of games consoles right now.

Microsoft will need to sell around 1.8m copies of the game to hit its opening weekend target. And the more money it rakes in from game sales, the more money it can invest in new hardware peripherals and console modifications.