Microsoft: January Xbox Live's Biggest Month Yet

Microsoft's Xbox Live service had a record month in January, driven by strong interest in its Netflix partnership and exclusive downloadable game content for games like Fable II and Grand Theft Auto IV -- and Live raised its total user count
Microsoft's Xbox Live online service had a record month in January thanks to strong interest in its Netflix partnership and exclusive downloadable game content, the company announced. Following yesterday's industry financial results courtesy of NPD, Microsoft said it reached 17 million Xbox Live users. Claiming its "holiday momentum carries into 2009", the company also trumpeted its 33 percent year-over-year hardware sales growth. More than a million users have taken advantage of the movie service that allows Netflix members to stream content via Xbox 360 consoles, and Microsoft says 16 movies have been watched on average per household since the feature launched in November. The demo for effectively-defunct Ensemble Studios' upcoming RTS Halo Wars set a one-day Xbox Live demo download record and reached 2 million downloads in a week, says Microsoft. As usual, the company's post-NPD release focused heavily on its system's games' high Metacritic average and on Xbox Live's success -- Live as a service gained more users than it had in any previous single month, which Microsoft pins on the Netflix deal as well as recent and upcoming DLC for games like Fable II, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Fallout 3. The company also continued to boast its high game attach rate among its user base, claiming an average of 8.1 games sold per console.

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