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From 10% with XBOX to 60% with XBOX 360

According to Gamasutra, Microsoft's XBOX Live service has quite the following nowadays. While Sony has been talking up its online service for some time now, Microsoft is actually expanding and refining its service. According to the latest statistics, 60% of XBOX 360 users are using XBOX Live. That is a dramatic increase from the 10% attach rate with the original XBOX console. Of the 60% that are on XBOX Live, 75% use the XBOX Live Marketplace where over 30 million downloads have taken place. 65% of connected users visit the XBOX Live Arcade where more than 5 million games have been downloaded. Gamasutra reports:

XBOX Live has hosted over two billion hours of gaming, including over 500 million games of Halo 2. It also handles over 900,000 voice and text messages per day. But there’s plenty more where that came from, with Microsoft on-track to hit its target of six million XBOX Live accounts in 2007.

The future also looks bright for XBOX Live as Microsoft is looking to fuse its XBOX 360 console gaming experience with users on both PCs and mobile devices with the Live Anywhere initiative. According to Gamasutra, the first titles to take advantage of Live Anywhere will be the PC version of Halo 2 for Vista and Shadowrun.

Sony has its work cut out for it in creating an online infrastructure for its PlayStation 3 users. Microsoft has a few years under its belt with XBOX Live and is banking on its success. Sony has to look at Microsoft's success and missteps with XBOX Live to ensure that it has a stellar community for gamers. Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that it will also be making classic games such as Pac-Man and Frogger available for download on XBOX Live Arcade.

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By ZeeStorm on 7/13/2006 12:01:55 PM , Rating: 0
I'm not a MS fan at all. I've used XBL before, several times, for CSX, Midtown Madness 3, and sometimes (before I threw it out) Halo 2. Some other games here and there. Now, it's kind of funny that MS talks up their stats so much, and really, they're not doing anything at all. The only thing they do is have a central server and a server for messaging, etc. The games themself aren't hosted by MS at all. What does this mean? They're charging people $5/month for a service that Valve is offering free, a central server in which all servers connect and send off a list of users and connection info. So technically, they didn't host billions of hours of games, or millions of halo 2 games, they just saved a couple hundred bytes of data containing a person's xbox number then matched it with their database record's rank. And this is where XBL falls short.. by far. The lag created by XBL is ridiculous. You will never have a ping under 200ms, and the average game ping is around 350ms. Whereas people that have dedicated servers or MMO servers (WoW, FFXI, Lineage, D&D, EQ, etc.) you're paying them to actually PLAY on their server. Which is why you can usually find a server < 100ms. Face it, consoles can't compete against computers in an online environment.

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