Microsoft Corporation has announced that sales of its Xbox 360 console have passed the 30 million mark globally; it still trails Nintendo’s Wii which has already recorded 50 million units, but is considerably ahead of Sony’s Playstation 3 which sits at around 20 million.

In addition to this it has also reported that its online Xbox Live community has grown to more than 20 million active members.

Microsoft highlighted that 2008 was the biggest year in the history of the console, and 2009 seems to be just as strong for the manufacturer with it already achieving the highest percentage growth in hardware sales of any console so far in 2009, up 28 per cent over the previous year.

“We’ve always been confident that Xbox 360 offers more entertainment value than any other console on the market, and these latest numbers show that consumers agree,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the interactive entertainment business at Microsoft.

“We expect our growth to continue to accelerate. Our news at E3 next week will underscore our commitments to bringing blockbuster entertainment experience to everyone and to continue growing the Xbox entertainment brand globally.”

According to Microsoft US consumers alone have spent $14.5 billion across all categories on Xbox 360 at retail. In addition software sales are performing exceptionally well for the company, and is currently leading the other current-generation consoles in game purchases, with consumers owning on average 8.3 titles each.