According to Andrew Jenkins, product manager games and Xbox LIVE, March has been one of the best months in history for the games manufacturer on the back of strong online gaming growth, key game releases and increased accessory sales.

“In what is typically a slow time in the market, March has been one of the best months ever for the Xbox brand in Australia,” Jenkins told this morning.

The launch of breakthrough titles like Halo Wars and the Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned, has helped the brand record exceptional sales over the month, but the real groundbreaking achievement for Microsoft is the huge success of Xbox LIVE.

“LIVE is definitely a real force for the company, and gives us the biggest advantage over our competitors,” he said.

“The Xbox 360 is no longer just a games console; it is a complete entertainment service and offers consumers with an amazing experience.”

Jenkins also revealed that at this present time there are over 20,000 forms of downloadable content available through LIVE. Games offer a large proportion of this but other forms of entertainment like music and videos are now becoming increasingly popular.

Currently Xbox 360 is running a 20 per cent cash back offer on all official accessories purchased from 16 March to 16 May 2009 (via redemption), in just the first week alone accessory sales have grown dramatically, especially in terms of Xbox LIVE.

While the Xbox Black Wireless controller performed the best with an increase of 102 per cent, the 60GB LIVE starter pack grew 48 per cent and the Messenger Kit also witnessed a 72 per cent rise. The 120GB Hard Drive also saw an increase of 88 per cent, representing the increased need for storage space.

Last year alone Australians downloaded more than 4.2 million items on Xbox LIVE, a figure Jenkins commented was a 30 per cent increase from the previous year.

Jenkins also mentioned how the take up of LIVE was very successful overall with users.

Going by GfK figures for the year ending 2008, we have just over half of all 500,000 users connected to LIVE, this represents over 250,000 consumers,” he said.

Jenkins finished up the conversation by stating how important online gaming has become in the current industry and how Xbox LIVE leads the way over its competitors.

“When you put us side by side with our competitors we definitely lead the charge in terms of online gaming and services offered.”