Microsoft has announced that 28 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide by the end of last year, proudly declaring 2008 the “biggest year ever in Xbox history” and widening its lead over the Sony PlayStation 3 to around 8 million units. The $199 price point was really critical for success this holiday season, according to Microsoft, providing consumers with an option that was less expensive than competing products from both Sony and Nintendo.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is still far behind the Wii, though, which has sold an estimated 40 million units thus far. Other interesting figures revealed by Microsoft include an online community of 17 million members for Xbox Live and an 84 percent year on year increase in online consumer spending.