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More than four million users on Xbox Live

Microsoft has announced that more than four million people now make use of its Xbox Live service - predicting that the figure will rise to six million by June 2007.

Microsoft has announced that more than four million people now make use of its Xbox Live service - predicting that the figure will rise to six million by June 2007.

Around 70 per cent of connected users are downloading content, and have downloaded 70 million items since the launch of Xbox 360.

Of that content, 12 million items have been downloaded from Xbox Live Arcade, with an average download-to-purcharse conversion rate of 24 per cent. Uno, with a rate of 50 per cent, is the most popular game.

Each week Xbox Live users send nine million voice and text messages, plus picture and video chat messages via the recently launched Xbox Live Vision camera.

According to Microsoft, users have cumulatively logged more than two billion hours since Xbox Live launched in November 2002.

"We openly welcome other console platforms to join us in [the online] space," the company stated. Sony and Nintendo are set to launch their own online services shortly, but unlike Microsoft neither company will charge for the privilege - which means Microsoft will likely to be looking to expand its first and third-party exclusive schedule to help drive Xbox Live Gold uptake.

At present, original Xbox title Halo 2 is still the most played game on Live, but eagerly anticipated 360 title Gears of War could move into the top spot when it's released next month.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.