Xbox One was the top-selling console in the second half of 2016, Microsoft says

Though it may have come in second place behind the PlayStation 4 in terms of U.S. sales for December, the Xbox One had an overall stellar second half of 2016 as the top-selling console. That's according to Microsoft, who cites the latest numbers from NPD Group, noting that Xbox One was the only console to see year-over-year growth.

Speaking on Xbox's success in 2016, Mike Nichols, corporate vice president of Xbox Marketing, stated:

December was the biggest month ever for Xbox One sales in the U.S. and Xbox One was the only eighth generation console with year-over-year growth, according to NPD. In addition, Xbox One was the top-selling console over the second half of 2016, following the announcement of Xbox One S at E3. In November and December we saw Xbox Live engagement reach an all-time high of 3.9 billion hours, up 23 percent compared to 2015 driven by fan excitement for the greatest games lineup. Looking ahead, we expect 2017 to be a special year for gamers thanks to the upcoming launch of the most powerful console ever in Project Scorpio and a terrific portfolio of new games with Xbox Live support on Xbox One, Windows 10 or both.

That success in the latter half of 2016 largely seemed to be propelled by Microsoft's aggressive marketing and deals on the Xbox One S, which only hit the market in early August. Ultimately, Microsoft saw four consecutive months at the top spot in terms of U.S. sales in the second half of the year, with Sony only narrowly beating Microsoft out in November. It isn't exactly clear by how much Sony took the top spot in December, but the fact the Microsoft is claiming to have the only console to see year-over-year growth points to a pretty impressive performance on the part of the Xbox One.

Going forward, 2017 will definitely be an interesting year to watch as Microsoft draws ever-closer to the launch of Scorpio during the holiday season.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl