After a thumping Christmas period, Microsoft has revealed that it's now shifted 28 million Xbox 360 consoles worldwide. This fattens the Xbox 360's lead over Sony's PlayStation 3 to eight million units.

Microsoft also reported an 84 per cent year-on-year increase in sales over Xbox Live. It seems 360 owners are snapping up game downloads, music videos, movie rentals, gamer pictures and dashboard themes.

Over $1billion has been spent since the console's launch.

Microsoft: "We're great"

"For Xbox, 2008 will be remembered around the world as a pivotal growth year at retail and online — even in the face of tough economic conditions," said Don Mattrick, Senior VP of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.

"Worldwide, a record number of players flocked to our broadest games and entertainment line-up ever, while the New Xbox Experience thrilled millions of fans by making our console even more engaging.

"And yet, we've only provided a glimpse into the new world of interactive entertainment that we're imagining. The best of Xbox 360 is yet to come."

Who's crazy now, huh?

Having endured the embarrassment of poorly made hardware, the 'red ring of death' and early Japanese indifference, Microsoft's Xbox 360 strategy (aggressive price cuts, exclusive AAA games and heavy advertising) seems to be paying off.

The worldwide numbers follow Microsoft's earlier announcement that the Xbox 360 has sold 8 million units in Europe, widening its lead over PlayStation 3 to more than one million.

Sony is remaining bullish about the performance of its PlayStation 3. According to MCV, SCEA VP Ian Jackson has predicted a bumper year for the console.

"Early internal data points to an increase of more than 130 per cent of PS3 hardware sales for the holiday season – since Black Friday – and we're also seeing a growth of nearly 40 per cent in total PS3 hardware sales for the calendar year."