Microsoft hails Sky Player as a success

Would be a top five game based on usage.

The Xbox Live Sky Player is a resounding success, Microsoft says.

If it were a videogame, it would be a top five title, Jerry Johnson, general manager of Xbox Live Studios in Soho, said at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival this afternoon.

"If Sky was a title in the UK market, it would be one of the top played titles on an evergreen basis. It's not Call of Duty, but it's up there as one of the top five or ten titles on a consistent basis over time," he said during his presentation titled Transforming Living Room Entertainment.

Microsoft launched the Sky Player for Xbox 360 in October last year.

Gamers can watch Sky Movies, Sky Sports and other marquee channels for a fee over and above their Xbox Live Gold subscription.

"It's doing really well," Johnson told Eurogamer ahead of his Edinburgh presentation.

"I don't want to say surprising, but we've seen very positive uptake.

"One of the things we're really proud of is the uptake on the party modes, especially around live television. While we don't release specific numbers, we're seeing on a live programme double digit percentages of people watching are in rooms of more than two people.

"When we hit major events or live events like a Premier League football game, we can even see those numbers double.

"It's a success, especially for a first run at this. As we start to work at the camera and the array mics [Kinect sensor], we're going to open up the ability to communicate while watching television. It's a no brainer that this thing is is going to continue to take off."

The Sky Player service was suspended soon after launch after it was crippled by unexpected demand on day one.

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