An unsurprisingly upbeat Microsoft has heaped praise on the continuing success of Xbox Live in its response to the June NPD figures and the news that Xbox 360 was the only machine to increase its sales year-on-year.
“Our console sales for the first half of the year actually grew 20 per cent from January to June versus the same six months last year,” Xbox 360/Xbox Live group product manager Aaron Greenberg told Gamasutra.
“We're the only console that grew in the first half of the year."
But the big story for Microsoft is Xbox Live. The June figures for the first time suggest that the unmapped digital market is claiming an ever-growing slice of retail’s pie (there’s a detailed look at the digital phenomenon right here).
Of Live’s 20m active users, 17m have downloaded content, and downloads have increased 73 per cent in the last 12 months.
“Xbox Live data is kind of this untold phenomenon,” Greenberg added. “[The sales numbers] significantly outpace what we saw in growth for console sales or software sales. It's continuing to become a bigger and bigger part of our business.”