Microsoft boasts "biggest week in Xbox history"

It appears to have been a killer start to the holiday shopping season for the Xbox 360.

Microsoft has posted in one of its official blogs that last week saw more sales of the 5-year-old console than any previous week.

“Xbox 360 sold more than 960,000 consoles in the U.S. alone, with more than 800,000 sold within a period of 24 hours,” the company wrote.

That’s not bad, considering video game consoles typically aren’t the sexy, high-discount items featured in Black Friday ads.

The news is even more important in the context that the Xbox 360 has been fading over the last year or so. Sales of the console have been tepid, allowing the PS3 – which once was trailing far behind – to nearly catch up with its Microsoft rival.

So for the Xbox 360 to show such momentum right now is a good – and surprising – indication that the console still has staying power.

The week of Black Friday also proved that the Kinect, which Microsoft is using to extend the life of the Xbox 360, is popular as well. More than 750,000 Kinect sensors were sold last week, though that number includes consoles that came bundled with the Kinect. Microsoft did not say how many standalone Kinect cameras were sold.

Nevertheless, it’s a definite jolt for Microsoft and the Xbox 360, which will bring even more excitement next week when a sweeping firmware update will add enhancements to the Kinect’s voice recognition software and offer users the ability to stream live TV.

In summation, Microsoft says it “expects holiday momentum to continue, driving Xbox 360 to finish the year as the number one console in the U.S.”