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Microsoft announces that six million gamers are using the online Xbox Live service

Microsoft announced a goal during E3 2006 to try and have six million people connect to the Microsoft Xbox Live service by June 2007.  While many considered it a bold move that would be unreachable, Microsoft today officially confirmed that it has reached its milestone four months faster than previously expected.  

Microsoft also found that more than 2.3 billion hours have been spent by users taking advantage of the service and that more than 2 million messages are sent on Xbox Live servers every day.  Halo 2 gamers have spent more than 710 million total hours playing Microsoft's top title game online.

The Xbox Live Marketplace, Microsoft's virtual market that allows Xbox 360 owners to download content, now has over 70 percent of Xbox Live members downloading from the service -- more than 135 million downloads since the launch of the Xbox 360 in November 2005.  More than 70% of all connected Xbox game consoles have also downloaded game titles through Xbox Live Arcade, with more than 25 million reported downloads.

Microsoft declined to answer how many people are using the Silver account -- a free service -- compared to those who pay to become Gold members to Xbox Live.

Microsoft also announced that the Xbox Live Video Marketplace will feature high-definition episodes of Comedy Central's South Park.  "Good Times With Weapons" is the first episode to be offered and will be available for two weeks.  Starting next week, Xbox 360 gamers can expect more uncensored episodes of the new season of the show to be available.





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