In advance of next week's E3 show, Microsoft has released data showing continued sales success for the Xbox 360, which has now sold over 55 million units worldwide, and the Xbox Live service, which now has over 35 million members.
Xbox unit sales have "changed the tail" for a typical hardware cycle, Microsoft says, with gains in its fifth and sixth year of availability, including a 29 percent year-over-year sales increase so far in 2011.
"2011 will be another record year for Xbox 360 and no other console in history can make that claim six years into their lifecycle," the company boasted in a press release, sharing a graph of recent system sales trends (below) to illustrate the point.
Microsoft cites the increasing variety of non-gaming entertainment options available through Xbox Live as a key driver of growth in both hardware sales and Xbox Live adoption.
Xbox Live users now spend and average of 60 hours on the service every month, contributing to a combined 2.1 billion monthly hours of Xbox Live use monthly. That includes roughly 30 hours of non-gaming video consumption per user, according to data released by Microsoft earlier this week
"Xbox used to be solely in the games business, but the business is on a different trajectory now," the company said. "What was launched as the ultimate gaming machine has quickly evolved to become an all-in-one entertainment device with something for every member of the household."