Officials from Microsoft are claiming that the total number of Xbox Live members has exceeded 1.4 million world-wide. After a successful Christmas season for the Xbox, particularly in North America, increasing sales of the consoles have helped to boost the service's total number of members to a new high.
It’s interesting to note, though, that if the global user base is assumed to be 16 million (Microsoft has not announced official figures for some time,) this still means that only 8.75 percent of Xbox owners have registered to use Xbox Live.
Nevertheless, chief Xbox officer Robbie Bach is in bullish mood. "Our consumers are passionate about online gameplay and seek larger-than-life digital entertainment experiences," said Bach. "We will continue to offer our thriving community best-in-class games, downloadable content, unique programming, and the expanded features and services found only on Xbox and Xbox Live."
Official figures for online PlayStation 2 owners have not been updated for some time, but were previously put at around 3 million. Considering the much larger user base (in excess of 80 million), though, it is likely that Microsoft’s integrated online service is proportionally much more popular with gamers.
In related news, Microsoft has also revealed that 6.4 million copies of Halo 2
have now been sold world-wide, with 4.4 million being sold in the U.S. alone. This makes Halo 2
the most successful Xbox game ever, surpassing the original. The Halo
franchise as a whole, including the PC version of the original, has now sold over 12.8 million units world-wide.