Following confirmation by Microsoft
regarding 10.4 million Xbox 360 consoles having been shipped worldwide by the close of 2006, the company has revealed a number of impressive statistics concerning the console.
Specifically, the company has revealed that its blockbuster Epic Games developed action shooter Gears of War
has sold an astounding 2.7 million copies in just 8 weeks of availability, while the Xbox 360 itself has seen an impressive attach rate of 5.3 titles per console. This attach rate is up slightly from the 5.1 games per console sold as confirmed by Microsoft
in October, a value that was incidentally cited as "alarming"
by analysts' Jason Kraft and Chris Kwak's 'Video Game Journal' the following month.
In a letter to the media from Microsoft vice president Peter Moore, the executive enthusiastically commented that he is “especially proud” of the Xbox 360's popular online service, Xbox Live Arcade, which according to Microsoft has seen more than 20 million games downloaded to date. Microsoft says that currently 70 percent of Xbox Live members are downloading content from the Xbox 360's online marketplace.
Moore also noted that the Xbox Live service itself, which currently has more than 5 million members, is “well on its way” to the company's earlier stated goal of 6 million Xbox Live members by June 2007. Further adding to the popularity of Xbox Live, Moore commented on the “stickiness” of this service, noting that “once you join Live, you're hooked.” According to Microsoft, the average Xbox Live Gold member has more than 21 users registered as part of his or her Friends List, and that each day two million text, voice, and picture messages are sent between friends over Xbox Live.
Looking ahead to 2007, Moore commented in his letter that Microsoft is “on track” to reach 13-15 million console units shipped by the end of the fiscal year, as well as double the console's software library, which currently stands at 160 titles. 2007 is expected to be punctuated by a number of high profile releases for the console, not the least of which are Ubisoft's now multiplatform Assassin's Creed
, Bioware's Mass Effect
, and of course Halo 3
The executive also addressed the Xbox 360's multimedia functionality as well, noting that Microsoft projects that over the course of the year, the recently shipped HD DVD add on peripheral will realize an attach rate of 28 movies per device. Moore added that with regards to the recent addition of downloadable television and movie content over the Xbox Live Marketplace, “even more content partners are lining up to get into this service,” including Lionsgate, which Microsoft says plans to bring a selection of high definition movies to the console's digital library.