Microsoft has announced that worldwide subscribers for its Xbox Live online gaming community have now reached a total of two million, representing a doubling of membership over the last year for the paid online service that allows multiplayer matching and stat tracking for a host of Xbox titles.
The last notable milestone publically announced for Xbox Live was back in January
, when 1.4 million users were reported. According to Microsoft, this growth rate is the equivalent of adding one Xbox Live member every 30 seconds.
"Reaching the two million member milestone in such a short time speaks volumes about the depth and vibrancy of the Xbox Live community," said Robbie Bach, senior vice president of the Home and Entertainment Division and chief Xbox officer at Microsoft. "This enormous growth is a true testament to the compelling content and engaging experiences enabled through Xbox Live today. The service is inspired by the creative power of the individual and fuelled by the passion of a worldwide community."
Microsoft took the opportunity to re-iterate that Xbox Live is a universal service between both the original Xbox and the forthcoming Xbox 360, due to debut this November. Thus, gamers can move their Xbox Live memberships seamlessly from Xbox to Xbox 360, giving Microsoft an initial subscriber advantage if either Sony or Nintendo plan a more complete online service for their next-generation consoles.
The company also mentioned planned titles for both Xbox Live and Xbox 360 Live to debut before the end of the year, referencing online-playable titles for Xbox 360 including Perfect Dark Zero
(Microsoft Game Studios), Project Gotham Racing 3
(Microsoft Game Studios), Madden NFL 06
(Electronic Arts), Dead or Alive 4
(Tecmo), and Call of Duty 2
(Activision), as well as notable new online games for the current Xbox including Tony Hawk's American Wasteland
(Activision), Star Wars Battlefront II
(LucasArts) and Battlefield 2: Modern Combat