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Microsoft: Digital content is fastest-growing portion of games business

Team behind NXE will continue to innovate as company reaps "record revenues" online

Microsoft has said that digital content is the fastest-growing portion of its games business, and the company intends to capitalise on the phenomenon further in 2009.

Speaking to our sister site Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg revealed that the team behind the New Xbox Experience is already focused on delivering more innovative content and services to the Xbox 360 this year.

"The silent phenomenon that's happening now for us is that consumers are starting the transition to digital distribution," commented Greenberg.

"We're seeing record revenues, particularly in the UK, of consumers spending money on digital content... It's quickly become the fastest-growing portion of our business. I think that will continue to accelerate at a rapid pace," he added.

The New Xbox Experience went live on November 19 and according to Microsoft, helped sales of Xbox Live Arcade titles triple, and prompted record numbers to flock to the online service.

As well as incremental updates to the Live service throughout this year, there will be another big release in time for the holidays, as the company continues to expand the online service.

"I wouldn't even isolate it to games. I would also remind you that we have a massive team focused on innovation. The same team that built the New Xbox Experience is bringing in all types of new experiences to consumers in 2009," said Greenberg.

"I can safely say that if you're an Xbox 360 owner today, you will end 2009 with a whole slew of new features, new content, new partners, new games that today you don't know about."

The next milestone for the service will be the launch of Primetime, which includes the live gameshow 1 Vs. 100, where players compete for real-world prizes.

"Primetime's going to be a significant update, and others will be coming in the spring, but we won't necessarily have a day when the switch gets flipped," said Greenberg. "The great benefit of the design is that we're able to add new features, new channels and things like that pretty quickly. So yeah, you'll see us do more regular updates throughout the year."

"We will definitely package some things together, but we haven't specifically committed to doing just two big updates. We want to add new features when they're ready. Then, for holiday perhaps, we'll do something big. But exactly how that will work remains to be seen," he added.

As for boxed product, Greenberg also hinted that the year will see the company reveal a number of new projects, currently in development behind closed doors.

"We sure have not announced our line-up for the full year, and we'll probably wait till later to do that. We typically take the under-promise and over-deliver approach; we like to talk about products a little bit closer to when they're ready to share with consumers," he said.

The full interview with Greenberg can be read here.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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