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360 boosts Live popularity

1.5 billion hours logged!

Microsoft has released a new set of stats for Xbox Live which reveal that gamers have spent more than 1.5 billion hours online since the service launched in November 2002.

More than 500 million hours were spent playing Halo 2, the hit first-person shooter for the original Xbox. However, according to Microsoft, Xbox Live has proved even more popular with Xbox 360 owners - more than half are connected to the service, compared to just one in ten Xbox owners.

On average, gamers play online 25 times per week, compared to just six times on the original Xbox. The most popular Xbox 360 game is Call of Duty 2, followed by Perfect Dark Zero and Project Gotham Racing 3. Need for Speed: Most Wanted is in fourth place, with Dead or Alive 4 in fifth.

Around 60 per cent of Xbox Live account holders have used the Xbox Live Arcade, and more than 3 million games have been downloaded. On average, 20 per cent of free trials result in a purchase of the full game.

Geometry Wars is the most popular Xbox Live Arcade game, with just under 40 per cent of those who downloaded the demo purchasing the full title. Marble Blast Ultra and Gauntlet are the second and third most popular titles respectively, followed by Smash TV and Zuma.

More than half of all Xbox Live users have downloaded game demos, while 85 per cent have downloaded Marketplace content and 20 per cent have used Microsoft Points to make purchases. Around 25 per cent have downloaded music videos and film trailers.