By Grant Shepherd

LAS VEGAS: In the Microsoft keynote address at CES yesterday, CEO Steve Ballmer enthusiastically ran through some of the Xbox 360s achievements over 2009 and was very excited about the company’s plans for the console in 2010.

According to Ballmer, 2009 was a very successful year for the Xbox 360 and this strong momentum will help the console continue to grow throughout 2010.

“I am pleased to tell you that there are over 39 million Xbox 360s around the world,” he said.

“Also 500 million games have been sold since the first Xbox was released, this is about $20 billion in games revenue.”

Some of the other key features of 2009 that were mentioned in the keynote address in Las Vegas included the fact that Xbox Live recorded its biggest week ever at Christmas time with a new member joining every second, Xbox Live also saw record peaks of more than 2 million people using the service at this time.

In addition to this 10 million Xbox Live members have utilised entertainment content on the service and over one million new friend connections were made since Facebook launched on Xbox Live.

“We have had amazing momentum over the past decade, but I am more excited about 2010 than any other year for Xbox,” Ballmer said.

Project Natal is set to be one of the biggest releases of the year for the Xbox 360, this is due to the fact that it will allow consumers to be the controller. According to Microsoft this will create an entirely new category of gaming.

2010 is also set to deliver Xbox 360s biggest ever line up of exclusive game releases. In the first half of the year Xbox 360 will release exclusive titles like Splinter Cell Conviction, Crackdown 2, Mass Effect 2 and Alan Wake. The holiday line-up is also very impressive with the release of anticipated games like Fable 3 and Halo Reach.