12th November. Dublin. Xbox 360 announced that it had achieved console sales to 10 million consumers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa in just four years. Reaching the landmark number has meant that Xbox 360 is the only console to achieve year-on-year growth across the region this year. The launch next week of instant streaming HD movies, Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm on Tuesday 17th November 2009 transforms Xbox LIVE into the largest social network connected to the TV and strengthens Xbox 360’s already impressive line up of interactive entertainment services.
“Xbox 360 continues to pull ahead of the competition when it comes to delivering on a complete home entertainment experience and we think that Xbox Live currently is about 12 to 18 months ahead of its main rival Playstation Network when it comes to offering service and content beyond traditional games,” said Martin Olausson, Director of Digital Media Research at Strategy Analytics. “By introducing innovative new services and content such as Natal, instant streaming of full 1080P HD video, and integrating social media features such as Twitter and Facebook, Xbox will likely attract a wider audience than its rivals and is in a great position to maximize sales in the next few years”.
2009 has been a pivotal year in Xbox’s journey from its gaming origins to now changing the way people consume and share entertainment content, interact with each other online and continue to play great games. It’s a change that people are embracing; there are more than 20 million Xbox LIVE active members worldwide and there have been over 1 billion downloads of gaming and entertainment content, with movie downloads doubling in the last year alone.
“Reinventing entertainment through, play, watch, connect and share. This is the vision that we have for Xbox 360 and today that vision is the reality for 10 million Xbox owners. European consumers are very discerning and demand a connected entertainment experience. That’s why we focused on providing content that is right and relevant for them and entertainment beyond just gaming to movies, music and social networking. We have delivered on this promise and next week will bring real innovation into the living room through instant streaming high definition movies, connecting with friends on Facebook and Twitter and a personalised music channel. Together, this represents a real shift in the way people are entertained every day,” said Chris Lewis, vice president Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft Europe.
This reinvention of entertainment has already seen a shift in where the Xbox lives in the home, with the majority (60%) of Xbox’s now becoming integrated into the family living room. It has also caused a shift in Xbox’s customer base as now 35% of Xbox customers are women and 64% are over the age of 25. The arrival of the much anticipated ‘Project Natal’ will create a new category of gaming and entertainment experiences through controller-free gaming that makes Xbox 360 more inclusive and relevant to an even wider audience.