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Microsoft said today that it has generated more than $56 billion at retail from its game business, and it has sold 67 million Xbox 360 consoles since 2005. It has also sold more than 19 million Kinect motion sensors since 2010.
Yusuf Mehdi, the chief marketing officer of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Division, said on the Microsoft blog that the Xbox 360 holds a 47 percent share of the current-generation U.S. console market. Xbox Live now has more than 40 million members who spend an average of 84 hours per month with the console. Back in October, Microsoft had said it had sold 57 million Xbox 360s.
By comparison, Nintendo has sold an estimated 96 million Wii consoles and Sony has sold about 64 million PlayStation 3s. But while Nintendo took the early lead in this console generation, Microsoft has been catching up in the past couple of years, thanks to hardware that finally worked, strong exclusive content on Xbox Live, and the launch of the Kinect motion-sensing system.
He noted that shipments in the seventh year of the console were bigger than they were in the sixth year. But the rate of shipments has been slowing down on a quarterly basis. He said Microsoft’s press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) will be broadcast live on Xbox Live next Monday.
“Next week, the Xbox team heads to Los Angeles for E3,” Mehdi said. “Having recently joined the team, I have the benefit of fresh perspective, and one of the things that has struck me is the amount of opportunities we have ahead.”
He added, “Similar to many of those experiences, the Xbox has arrived at an important inflection point in its growth and development. In particular, in the last year, the Xbox has transcended from a gaming console to a broad entertainment device inclusive of movies, TV, music and sports.” The Xbox 360’s larger library includes 60 voice-controlled apps and 200,000 premium movies and shows.
“The more entertainment options we add, the more time people spend on Xbox,” said Mehdi. “In the last six months, we’ve grown our entertainment library on Xbox to include more than 60 voice controlled applications and more than 200,000 premium movies and TV shows.
“To date, our success with Xbox has been led by a box in the living room,” he said. “Moving forward, Xbox will go beyond the box to reach all new families of devices. Just as Xbox has grown to mean more than just games, it also is more than just a console. This year, Xbox becomes the premium entertainment service for Microsoft.”
He added, “Whether on your PC, tablet, TV or phone, Xbox will be a gateway to the best in music and video, your favorite games and instant access to your friends. With the launch of Windows 8, we’ll bring Xbox entertainment to everyone. With Xbox on Windows 8 devices, we rapidly accelerate the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 60 million people to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.”
Hinting at what is to come, Mehdi said, “We understand that entertainment has become a multi-screen experience where you and your friends are watching TV, listening to music, and playing games while interacting with your tablets and phones in new ways. We’ve got ideas for making all the entertainment you love more personal, interactive and social across the devices you love—and on the phenomenal Windows 8 devices that are to come.”
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