Remember when Microsoft Entertainment and Devices chief Robbie Bach said the Xbox business would be profitable by 2008? Most of us scoffed. Seems though, like we were wrong. Microsoft shipped 700,000 more consoles in the first half of the fiscal year - 6.1 million as opposed to 5.4 million the year before.

As well as detailing the last quarter for the division, first-half earnings were also released. While the division didn't signpost much revenue growth over the last quarter - only 3 per cent - sales were up 25 per cent.

Helping hand from the Zune

And the big numbers were an income figure of $524 million compared to the whacking $423 million loss in the same period last year. It's not all down to the Xbox - Bach's division also incorporates PC gaming as well as the Zune MP3 player.

There's no doubt about what it thought was responsible for the improved results though and it was a certain console.

"Xbox platform and PC game revenue increased $1.0 billion or 35 per cent during the six months ended December 31, 2007, as a result of increased Xbox 360 console sales, video game sales led by Halo 3, Xbox Live revenues, and Xbox 360 accessory sales," said Microsoft in its filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.