In a post from Yusuf Mehdi, Chief Marketing Officer, Interactive Entertainment Division at Microsoft, Mehdi had some very interesting stats about Xbox and hints about its future direction in the lead up to E3 next week.
Xbox will always mean games, but for tens of millions of people around the globe, it also means music, TV, movies and more.
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
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.
..we are hitting our stride largely as a result of the success of Kinect for Xbox 360 (19 million sold ) and the flood of new entertainment options through Xbox LIVE (40 million members).
Zune is dead
One of the biggest announcements in the post is the official confirmation of the long rumored death of the Zune brand. Personally I liked the Zune brand, logo and desktop software, but given Xbox is one of Microsoft’s strongest brands (behind Windows, Office and Server), renaming services Xbox Music and Xbox Video makes a lot of sense.
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.
One amazing trend is the long tail of Xbox 360, according to NPD, the Xbox 360 in the US is selling more units now than ever. It is by far the highest selling console by far in the 7th year of sales. The PS3 has already dipped dramatically in sales, despite being in the market for around 12 months less than the Xbox.
If we look at the ‘Defying Gravity’ graph in another way, it shows that for the first 2.5 years, the Xbox 360 was actually outsold by unsurprisingly the Wii, but also the PS2 and the Nintendo 64. Once we get over that bombshell, its time to focus on the future. With such strong sales of the Xbox 360, driven largely by the Kinect, what does it mean for the release date of the next Xbox ?
Microsoft has already said we won’t see the Xbox at this year’s E3 (next week), but at the current rate it’d be hard to see Microsoft being financially motivated to introduce it even in year 9.