Ahead of E3 video game conference, Microsoft just announced that by extending the capabilities of the Xbox platform with Kinect and Xbox LIVE, Microsoft has "changed the tail" of the typical console lifecycle, showing dramatic gains in the fifth and sixth years of this generation, revealed Major Nelson.
In addition, the Redmond company has released the following data points:
- Microsoft has now sold 55 million Xbox 360 consoles across 38 countries and sales are accelerating.
- Xbox 360 maintains its lead in the U.S. as the top selling console in 2011, and ten of the past eleven months.
- In the first four months of 2011, Xbox 360 has seen a 29% year over year increase in sales, which's more than triple the growth of PlayStation 3 and the largest growth of any console on the market.
- There're now nearly 35 million active Xbox LIVE members worldwide spending an average of almost 60 hours a month on the service.
- Cumulatively Xbox LIVE members are now logging 2.1 billion entertainment hours a month.
Microsoft also states that Xbox 360 sales are "accelerating." In just the first four months of this year, sales were up 29% compared to the first four months of last year.
Microsoft's rumored to be bringing an IPTV service to Xbox 360 users, codenamed "Orapa," by sometime this Fall.
Orapa, in development now, is going to be a combination of Xbox LIVE and Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV, from what I'm hearing. It would give Microsoft a way to turn TV into a service that it could deliver to Xbox 360 customers first, and Windows, Windows Phone and set-top-box customers, later.
Orapa will enable the mash-up of Mediaroom features, Xbox LIVE social features (like avatars and recommendations), Kinect sensing capabilities, and some of those forthcoming Ventura music/video services.
Via Orapa, Mediaroom users would be able to use Kinect's gesture and voice controls to control their TV watching. Xbox 360 users would get more content on their consoles.
Also, rumored is that Microsoft will be unveiling Xbox LIVE Diamond, a level up from Xbox LIVE Gold, which'll allow users to watch IPTV on their Xbox 360 and potentially other devices, like the Windows Phone. It's said that this subscription-based service will carry several channels once exclusive to cable and satellite providers. MJFoley stated that this IPTV service via Xbox LIVE Diamond is also slated to come to Windows Phones soon afterwards.