Eurogamer.net

4m people use Xbox Live

MS predicts 6m by June '07.

Over four million people now use Xbox Live in some form or other, Microsoft announced yesterday.

That figure almost certainly includes original Xboxen and Xbox Live Silver users as well as the more lucrative Xbox Live Gold subscriber base.

And Microsoft reckons it's on track for six million users by June 2007. "We openly welcome other console platforms to join us in [the online] space," it says, a bit mockingly.

Lovers of stats, the Microsoft PR machine also revealed that Xbox Live Arcade has seen 12 million downloads, with an average 24 percent download-to-purchase conversion rate (UNO is the most popular game, incidentally, with a 50 percent conversion rate).

And we were told that 70 percent of connected users are downloading content, and have been responsible for the download of over 70 million bits of downloadable content since the Xbox 360's launch.

Not only that, but nine million voice and text messages (recently joined by picture messages and video chat sessions) are pinging around every week.

Finally, the company said that since November 2002 when Xbox Live first came online with Xbox 1, users have cumulatively logged over two billion hours.

Then again, Microsoft faces some real tests in the future, with PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii's respective online services due to cost absolutely nothing to use.

Microsoft will be looking to an expanded first- and third-party exclusive schedule, including games like Gears of War, to help drive Xbox Live Gold uptake during this period - and install an Xbox 360 game at the top of the most-played-online table where, after all this time, Halo 2 still resides.

Should be interesting to watch.

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