Microsoft is applauding their own effort with the Xbox 360 this week, announcing that the popular console has managed to exceed a total of 30 million consoles sold. Originally launched in 2005, the 360 is struggling to keep up with the Wii, but has remained in a strong number two position for current-gen consoles quite some time. That position is strengthened by its online presence, with Microsoft estimating more than 20 million active Xbox Live subscribers. Content refreshes also have helped keep sales strong, with software improvements and more online services available through the console both serving as selling points.

Thirty million over nearly four years is decent, but there is something else worth paying attention to here. Online content has clearly become a huge part of console gaming, so much so that the online experience is a huge part of owning a console these days. The fact that constant software updates, and even some minor hardware refreshes, are now a reality of modern console development should also play a part in sales. After all, there's a huge difference in buying a four year old console and buying a "current-gen" gaming rig.

Many gamers don't have computers which last four years, so seeing strong staying power in consoles is encouraging. For those of you who own consoles: Did the ability for the console to remain "current" play a part in your decision to buy it?