Microsoft Xbox 360 Entertainment & Devices chief Robbie Bach expects the Xbox 360 to topple revenue records in 2008, given total spending on 360 products last year and the fact that Microsoft has sold 17.7 million 360 consoles worldwide. But the Xbox 360's figures seem to dispute the claim.

"With its continued momentum in games, accessories and digital entertainment via our leading online service Xbox LIVE, and record-setting games and accessory attach rates, evidence is everywhere that Xbox 360 is thriving," Bach said.

But despite boasting an exceptional game library, Xbox 360 sold only 19 percent better than the original Xbox did in its first 24 months, according to NPD.

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At its current rate, Microsoft stands to sell slightly more than 28.5 million Xbox 360s worldwide - a far cry from the 100+ million that Sony's PlayStation and PlayStation 2 each sold in previous generations, and just 9 million more than the estimated 19.5 million Wii units already sold by Nintendo in just over a year.

Having already proved itself as a worthy system for hardcore gamers then, what keeps the 360 from realizing its mainstream potential? High failure rates and a homogeneous game library are often cited as culprits for its limited appeal.

Whatever the case, one thing's for sure: Western gamers like Xbox 360, even if it dies more often than it should.

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