Good morning.

The Christmas countdown continues here with the Thurrott kids, and last night/today we finally got snow for the first time. It was just an inch and a half, not enough to even call out the plows, but it's the sort of thing that would shut down Seattle or London for a week. It did, however, prevent us from seeing that awesome lunar eclipse last night. Way to go, Mother Nature.



According to the market researchers at Nielsen, the Xbox 360 is the most-used video game console, which supports my long-time notion that Wii owners experience only a short-time attraction to that system and leave it gathering dust. In fact, Wii usage is well below that of either the Xbox 360 or Sony's PS3. It's not even close.



But it's not all good news for Microsoft: EA, which knows a thing or two about video games, says that while the Xbox brand is popular in the US, PlayStation is an insurmountable brand worldwide. But it gets worse: Despite a strong year for the Xbox 360, the PS3 may soon overtake Xbox 360 console sales for good.

Not coincidentally, I'll soon be reviewing both the Xbox 360 S and PlayStation 3 in their roles as living room digital media set-top boxes. I've had an Xbox 360 S since they first shipped, of course, and a new PS3 just arrived this week. (I had the original PS3 for a year or two previously.) My initial impression: They're very comparable.

On another related note, Microsoft this week told a reviewer that its goal for the Xbox 360 going forward is to "move the Xbox beyond the hardcore gaming crowd demographic to appeal to a mass audience for general living room entertainment." Coincidentally, I'll also be writing up an article, "How Microsoft Can Fix the Xbox 360 in 2011," probably this week, that will suggest they have a long ways to go. Microsoft has all the pieces in place, but as I've lamented so many times, they seem to have a problem stringing it all together. In other words, they're not very good at finishing. More on this soon.