The game industry's December 2011 may have been down from the same month last year, but it hasn't brought down spirits at Microsoft. The Redmond-based Xbox 360 manufacturer capped off 2011 by having the number one console for twelve straight months, NPD data reveals.

In December, Microsoft sold more than 1.7 million consoles (déjà vu, anyone?) without brand-new hardware to help push it over the top like last year. Gamers spent $1.5 billion at retail on the Xbox 360 alone during December, and overall Microsoft's share of that $16 billion pie in 2011 came to $6.7 billion -- $2.1 billion on consoles, $4.6 billion on games and accessories.

During its annual (and, this year, final) CES sojourn, Microsoft revealed there are 66 million Xbox 360 consoles out in the world today. Based on the 2011 figures from the NPD, we'd say a lot of them are here in North America. But when will this month-to-month momentum slow down and make way for the impending next generation? Probably around the time we invent robots for boxing.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.