In a lecture at the Develop Conference in England one of Microsoftâ€™s developer relations managers for the Games Technology Group, Jeff Sullivan, shared some new figures on how the 360 has been doing since its launch November last year. Especially the fact that a whopping 60% of sold 360s is connected to Xbox Live is rather impressive considering the 10% attach rate of Live on the first Xbox.
Since its inception Microsoft’s online gaming network has served over two billion hours of gaming, of which 500 million games of Xbox killer app Halo 2. Every day over 900,000 voice and text messages are sent by gamers around the globe. And the numbers just keep growing, as Microsoft is on track to achieve its target of 6 million Xbox Live accounts in 2007.
Live’s popularity on the 360 is mainly credited to the Marketplace and Arcade facilities, having been used by 75% and 65% of the users respectively. Gamers have downloaded over 30 million Marketplace items so far, and Sullivan promises content will become better integrated in the games themselves in the near future. As for Arcade, 21% of trial downloads have resulted in the gamer buying the full game, with top scorers Geometry Wars and UNO achieving 50% on that figure. Lowest scores are around 10%, which still greatly exceeds the 1 to 2% conversion rate on PC game demos.
Apart from the stats Sullivan also spoke on Microsoft’s Live Anywhere initiative, intended to open up cross-platform gaming for mainly Vista and Xbox 360 owners:
A way of bringing converge to Xbox 360 users and Vista PC gamers, itâ€™s a process that will see a common interface employed across both platforms, as well as bringing all the advantages of Xbox Live, such as community, skill matching, anti-cheating and unified billing systems into the online PC gaming space.
The first titles to use the service will be Halo 2 for Windows Vista and the cross-platform shooter Shadowrun, due in early 2007. Sullivan said, these will initially only offer a limited subset of Xbox Live features, acting as guinea pigs to test how opening up Xbox Live within the PC Internet works.
Cross platform friends list
Further targets include uploading game screens and perhaps even video feeds on the web, as currently being piloted by PGR3 through its latest patch. More info on how the Live service will evolve will be shared on Microsoftâ€™s GameFest to be held in Seattle, from 14-15th August.