While it’s estimated that somewhere in the region of 1 million modded Xbox 360 consoles were permanently locked out of the Xbox Live over the past few days as Microsoft clamped down on piracy ahead of the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, this has been a good week for the company, with the announcement that 10 million consoles sold in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the last four years.
In terms of sales, Martin Olausson, director of digital media research at Strategy Analytics, estimated that Xbox Live is around 12 to 18 months ahead of its main rival, the Playstation Network.
Millions of subscribers
Added to this, with more than 20 million subscribers to the Xbox Live service, the 360’s cachet is rapidly growing and starting next week, Facebook, Twitter, streaming social music service last.fm and instant-on HD video from Zune will be available on Xbox 360 consoles making Xbox Live the largest social network to be connected to the TV.
“By introducing innovative new services and content such as Natal, instant streaming of full 1080P HD video, and integrating social media features such as Twitter and Facebook, Xbox will likely attract a wider audience than its rivals and is in a great position to maximise sales in the next few years,” added Olausson.
Mix means transformation
This mix of gaming and online social services is transforming the Xbox 360 userbase: 35pc of Xbox customers are women and 64pc are more than 25 years of age.
“We have delivered on this promise and next week will bring real innovation into the living room through instant streaming high-definition movies, connecting with friends on Facebook and Twitter, and a personalised music channel. Together, this represents a real shift in the way people are entertained every day,” said Chris Lewis, vice-president Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft Europe.
These services will all be available Tuesday, 17 November, through Xbox Live.
By Marie Boran
Photo: The Xbox 360 Chatpad – you’ll be needing one of these next week when Twitter and Facebook arrive.