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Over one billion hours a month on Live, claims Microsoft

Users average forty hours a month each using online services

Microsoft has claimed that its 25 million Xbox Live users are spending 40 hours a month each using Xbox Live, totalling one billion man hours on the service.

The increase is largely down to an increased range of available services, the publisher said, citing a 157 per cent increase in time spent watching film and television on their machines over the last year.

Non-gaming services available on Xbox Live include Facebook, Zune music and film rentals, Sky Player and online radio service Last.fm.

The surge in non-game related use for consoles reflects an attempt by platform holders to consolidate their machines' purpose as a media device. With the launch of Microsoft's Kinect on Thursday, the service will also begin supporting video chat.

Recently, a survey by UK telecoms ombudsman OFCOM revealed that the average Facebook user spends 13 minutes a day on the site, while also claiming that "Videogames consoles are also emerging as important platforms for delivering video to the television".

According to the survey, ten per cent of all traffic from the BBC's iPlayer service now comes from PS3 and Wii consoles, overtaking the seven per cent which originates from Macs.

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