Microsoft has more than a few reasons to be jolly this holiday season, with gamers earning a combined 1.25 billion achievement points and titles like Braid topping the sales charts.
The press release isn't really anything more than your usual "Hey, look how awesome we were this last year!" - but the information and numbers are pretty interesting nonetheless. The thing that stands out the most is, of course, the fact that over the course of 2008, gamers earned a total of 1.25 billion (yes, with a "b") achievement points across nearly 100 million achievements. How many of them were about elephants, though?
Indie darling Braid topped the Xbox Live Arcade list not just as the highest rated title of the year, but the highest rated XBLA title of all time. Rounding out the list of the year's best Arcade games are names that shouldn't surprise anybody: Castle Crashers, Geometry Wars 2, Street Fighter II HD Remix, and Portal: Still Alive. All told, Xbox Live subscribers downloaded a total of 110 million XBLA trials during 2008 (yes, people downloaded more game demos than earned achievements - who'd have guessed?).
According to Microsoft, there are some hotly anticipated titles slated to hit XBLA in 2009, but it's hard to get as excited for a South Park game as many were for Jonathan Blow's time-warping platformer. Though I guess we'll just have to wait and see.