Speaking at CES in Las Vegas, Microsoft's Bill Gates and Robbie Bach announced that the company has shipped 10.4 million units of its Xbox 360 worldwide up to the end of 2006, also revealing an early look at IPTV for the Xbox 360.
As well as confirmed that it had exceeded expectations by hitting the 10.4 million console mark this holiday season, the company described the Xbox 360 as "the largest social network in the living room", with 5 million Xbox Live members.
In addition, in just over a year, people have downloaded more than 100 million pieces of content to their Xbox 360 consoles, which include game content, television shows and movies, according to a Microsoft statement timed to coincide with the press conference.
Robbie Bach provided an early look at a new service, IPTV on Xbox 360, which will include digital video recording capabilities, with gaming, movie viewing, and even voice and video communications. Apparently, users will be able to watch their favorite sporting event live while chatting with their friends, for example, or participate in a match on Xbox Live while they record a TV program in the background.
IPTV on Xbox 360 is expected to be available to consumers by holiday season 2007 and will be offered by "providers that are deploying TV services based on the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform."
"Our goal is to make entertainment more personal, more interactive and more social," Bach said. "IPTV on Xbox 360 and Xbox Live are powerful examples of ways we are bringing together the worlds of gaming, TV viewing and community to make it easy for people to access and discover their favorite content and share their personal experiences with the communities they are part of."
In addition, Windows Vista was discussed, and Microsoft showed off Shadowrun
(Microsoft Game Studios) and Halo 2 for Windows Vista
(Microsoft Game Studios), the first of many titles that will enable gamers on Windows Vista to connect with their friends on Xbox 360 through the Live network. And for casual gamers, the company demonstrated a cross-platform game of UNO!,
with some players joining from their Windows Vista-based PCs and others joining from their Xbox 360 consoles.