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Xbox Live sees entertainment category surpass online gaming

Entertainment app usage on Xbox Live has more than doubled year-over-year

In its quest to dominate the living room, Microsoft has continually upgraded its Xbox Live entertainment offerings, and the effort is clearly paying off, as today the company noted that Xbox 360 is being used more for entertainment than pure gaming.

Alongside the launch of the new Comcast and HBO Go TV apps, Microsoft released some new figures, specifically citing that Xbox Live Gold members are spending an average of 84 hours a month on the service, with entertainment apps doubling in usage.

No hard statistics were provided specifically on time spent with non-gaming apps, but Microsoft says that the combined time spent watching TV, listening to music and watching movies was the contributing metric.

This represents the first time the console has primarily been used for music, movies and other forms of entertainment, rather than continual online gaming sessions. In total, there has been a 30 percent year-over-year increase in usage on Xbox Live globally.

Even though BioWare released a major title in March, the whole of gaming has seen a drastic slowdown, causing major UK retailer GAME to go into administration. Perhaps gamers are watching more videos on Xbox Live instead of gaming during these harsh economic times.

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Latest comments (8)

Steve Peterson Marketing Consultant 9 years ago
This lends credence to the rumors of Nintendo talking to major media players about getting media content onto the Wii U. It looks like the next generation of consoles will be considered more as multimedia devices than as game machines that happen to play media. It will be interesting to see how the next consoles are marketed, starting with the Wii U.
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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz9 years ago
Or another way of looking at it, Steve, is that Nintendo has no shot of truly competing with the likes of Microsoft or Sony on the full-blown entertainment front, so they'd be better off putting more resources into something MS can't offer.
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Private Industry 9 years ago
Not surprised, because people can`t find the games tab anymore with all those advertisements and media stuff.

Maybe people watch more movies on 360 than play games because 1st and 2nd party has been almost killed off with the exception of Forza and Gears of War last year and Forza and Halo this year (I`m not going to count Kinect games)? For a company that makes a games console they spend a lot of money on media stuff and very little on game development.
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Dave Knudson Sr. Technology Manager, Electronic Arts9 years ago
I would think the addition of TV could skew the results a bit. I know with ATT Uverse you can basically use the 360 as another cable box, and Verizon FIOS also offers some ability to watch TV as well.

So if the 360 is sitting in a room that previously didn't have TV being delivered (bedroom?), then you might be going from a situation where it had 0 hours of use to a situation where it gets many hours of use for media.

Additionally, Hulu was released in April which also probably bumped the amount of TV being watched significantly.
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Private Industry 9 years ago
Let`s not forget TV shows can run in the background while doing stuff on PC or laptop, but nobody has a game running in the background while doing other stuff.

I kind of get the feeling they pulled already the plug on core game development for 360 a while ago and just finish off what they had in development the last 2-3 years and moved the studios that finished games in the last 1-2 years on to whatever they do next. Very different to Sony that is still doing a lot this year for this gen and plenty of studios that didn`t announce anything yet what they do.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Private on 27th March 2012 10:19pm

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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters9 years ago
Don't forget that for each gamer profile in use, it's not always the same physical person using it. Say in a family where normally the only person using the Xbox was the "gamer", now it may be that other members of the family use the Xbox to watch TV etc while the person whose account it is isn't using it. Like with many things, just because the overall percentage changes doesn't mean the time spent gaming has decreased, just that the overall time spent actually using the console for "something" has gone up.
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Tommy Thompson Lecturer in BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming., University of Derby9 years ago
@Dave Certainly in my own home the Xbox has now became the default device for my girlfriend to watch TV.

While I imagine the statistics here at somewhat skewed, I have no qualms with the system evolving into an entertainment centre. Though am I alone in wanting some customisation in how this content is presented on the dashboard? I recognise I'm not the "average user" in this instance, unlike my better half I don't watch TV at all and only use and recently Netflix for films. However I would like to be able to customise what tabs are presented on my dashboard, as I only use the main, social and games tabs 99% of the time.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tommy Thompson on 28th March 2012 10:55am

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Robert Barrow Information Security Analyst 9 years ago
It would be interesting to see Sony's figures on the same area. My PS3 is used far more for iPlayer, Netflix etc than it is used for games, until the next big release.
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