MS touts 60% Live attach-rate

Thanks to two-tier strategy.

Microsoft has confirmed the latest figures denoting the continued success of its Xbox Live service, citing an attach rate of 60 per cent as the company strives to add further functionality and user benefits.

Significantly outperforming the service offerings on the original Xbox console, which only managed approximately a 10 per cent attach rate amongst console owners, the next-gen machine is drawing in serious crowds.

The company attributes the growth to a combination of offering free "Silver Level" access to all Xbox 360 owners and its comprehensive Marketplace and Live Arcade services.

According to Microsoft, the Live service has hosted over two billion hours of gaming, including over 500 million games of Halo 2. It's also handled over 900,000 voice and text messages per day, and now that the Xbox 360 is readily available at retail, the numbers are only expected to grow.

The Xbox 360 was recently given its biannual service upgrade, offering much requested functionality to the Live service such as background downloads and a better organised interface.

Marketplace content, such as game expansions, demos, game and movie trailers etc have been key drivers to the success of the service, as have the casual games available through Xbox Live Arcade.

The Arcade service is set to expand rapidly over the coming months. Microsoft announced Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays earlier this week, which will provide five new games in as many weeks and could help to increase the free-download to paid purchase content conversion rates, currently at around 21 per cent.

As part of Microsoft's ongoing commitment to the online community, the Live service is set for further expansions in terms of both functionality and available content, pushing the firm rapidly towards its projected target of six million Live accounts by 2007 and opening up immense potential for additional revenues through the now Microsoft owned in-game advertising specialist, Massive Inc.

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