Internal figures released by Microsoft have shown that 28 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide, meaning it leads its next-gen rival PS3 by 8 million units.

Its lead in the States is much larger than in Europe, with 7 million and 1 million more sales for the console respectively.

This is just further bad news for Sony's console, after independent sales data from NPD showed that the 360 outsold the PS3 by two to one in December. The PS3 also suffered a drop in year-on-year sales for the month as well.

More figures from the Microsoft vault show that Xbox Live has more than 17 million active members, who have clocked up 10 billion hours online since its launch.

"Our goal for 2008 was to reach new audiences by bringing ground-breaking games and entertainment to Xbox 360", said Microsoft's Don Mattrick.

"Looking forward, new waves of innovation will extend our position as the global leader in interactive entertainment".