Next week, the Xbox team heads to Los Angeles for E3. Having recently joined the team, I have the benefit of fresh perspective, and one of the things that has struck me is the amount of opportunities we have ahead.
Before joining Xbox, I had the fortune of being a part of some incredible periods of innovation and incubation such as in the early days of Windows and Internet Explorer, and, more recently, with the creation of Bing. I have also had a great passion for gaming and entertainment, and watched the growth of MSN into one of the world’s largest media sites on the Internet.
Similar to many of those experiences, the Xbox has arrived at an important inflection point in its growth and development. In particular, in the last year, the Xbox has transcended from a gaming console to a broad entertainment device inclusive of movies, TV, music and sports. I will give you an example of what that means.
A few weeks back, my family and I decided to escape a rainy Sunday afternoon by watching a movie. The need for indoor entertainment in Seattle in May is (sadly) no surprise, but what really struck me was the way my son went about finding a movie. After my children finished a heated rock-paper-scissors battle to determine who got to choose what we would watch, my son sprinted to the Xbox 360. He didn’t first turn on the TV or go to our relatively hefty collection of DVDs. For him, the Xbox is now the gateway to what he wants to watch.
Now, my household may be a little biased, but my son isn’t alone. Xbox will always mean games, but for tens of millions of people around the globe, it also means music, TV, movies and more. Xbox LIVE subscribers now spend an average of 84 hours per month on the console. For comparison, the average American watches a little more than 150 hours of TV in the same period. The more entertainment options we add, the more time people spend on Xbox. In the last six months, we’ve grown our entertainment library on Xbox to include more than 60 voice controlled applications and more than 200,000 premium movies and TV shows.
As a result of people engaging with Xbox more frequently for more entertainment activities, we have been able to defy gravity compared to where consoles traditionally are at this point in their lifecycle. Sales for Xbox 360 in year five were greater than in year four, sales in year six were greater than in year five, and sales in year seven were greater than in year six.
Since 2005—when we launched Xbox 360—we have sold 67 million consoles and have generated more than $56 billion at retail, and we’re still going strong in our seventh year. With 47 percent share of the current-generation console market in the U.S., we are hitting our stride largely as a result of the success of Kinect for Xbox 360 (19 million sold worldwide) and the flood of new entertainment options through Xbox LIVE (40 million members worldwide).
To date, our success with Xbox has been led by a box in the living room. Moving forward, Xbox will go beyond the box to reach all new families of devices. Just as Xbox has grown to mean more than just games, it also is more than just a console. This year, Xbox becomes the premium entertainment service for Microsoft. Whether on your PC, tablet, TV or phone, Xbox will be a gateway to the best in music and video, your favorite games and instant access to your friends. With the launch of Windows 8, we’ll bring Xbox entertainment to everyone. With Xbox on Windows 8 devices, we rapidly accelerate the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 60 million people to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
We understand that entertainment has become a multi-screen experience where you and your friends are watching TV, listening to music, and playing games while interacting with your tablets and phones in new ways. We’ve got ideas for making all the entertainment you love more personal, interactive and social across the devices you love—and on the phenomenal Windows 8 devices that are to come.
You’ll see the first of that next week at E3 where we will showcase the very best of Xbox. We’ll unveil new games, show new ways to enjoy the entertainment you love and, as always, we’ll have a few surprises to share!
We can’t wait. We kick things off on Monday, June 4 at 9:30 a.m. PT. You can watch us on live TV though our partnership with Spike TV, on the Web (Xbox.com), and for the first time ever – on Xbox LIVE.
Posted by Yusuf Mehdi
Chief Marketing Officer, Interactive Entertainment Division, Microsoft