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Nearly a third of Xbox 360 owners oblivious to Xbox Live Arcade

Microsoft was proud to boast at Gamefest 2007 that its Xbox Live gaming service has garnered more than 7.1 million users, reports GamesIndustry. Not only are there many gamers going online – they are also buying content. Microsoft said the attach rate for Xbox Live Arcade games is about six to seven games per user.

While Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division saw a loss last quarter, the company is making money from its Xbox Live service. According to Gamasutra, Xbox Live Arcade games see an average 156 percent financial return over 12 months for titles published so far, with over $30 million made on the service to date.

Interestingly enough, the gains that Microsoft is enjoying from its Xbox Live service doesn’t come from its entire user base. According to industry research from Frank N. Magid Associates, cited by GameDaily, 30 percent of Xbox 360 owners have never even heard of Xbox Live Arcade. And of those who have used Xbox Live Arcade, only 28 percent have purchased at least one game from the service.

Even with Xbox Live Arcade penetration not at its full potential, Microsoft is predicting that it will rack up 45 million downloads and more than 100 games on the service by the end of 2007.

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By therealnickdanger on 8/14/2007 2:58:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the point of paying for it comes down to the fact that it is so efficient. I've been on Live since the first public beta and I've been a PC gamer since the 80s. While "free" is always awesome, it is impossible to get the same experience on a PC in as simple a method as you can get it on Live.

You need multiple programs of varying quality with different settings and tweaks just to arrive at something comparable to Live on a PC. Granted, the PC gives me a much higher degree of flexibility and customization, but at a cost of being harder to use and with less stability. Your mainstream PC gamer doesn't know IPs from GUIs, they'll just allow their PC to fill up with spamware.

Besides, whatever costs you end up paying to be a Live Gold member is less than it costs to be a PC gamer with relevant hardware. 360 + Live = $400. You can't build a comparable gaming rig (performance, not parts) for that price, not even after three years of Live ($500). So the whole argument of "not as good because it's not free" is rather moot. Sure, 3 years from now you could build something that outperforms it, but then the 360 will be $150...

I dunno, I have always seen Live as a bargain. The only gripe I have is that the costs of movies and TV shows THAT I CAN'T BACKUP IN ANY WAY are too high. If you expect me to pay $5 for a HD movie rental for 24 hours, when I can get from Netflix or Blockbuster for less and keep and watch as often as I like, then you're damn crazy. I don't mind paying $2 for a great episode of Metalocalypse, but being forced to keep it on my 360 HDD is ridiculous. Let me back it up onto my Vista PC. Let me burn it to a DVD, let me attach a USB HDD, let me do something other than what is currently offered.

Once we get more "Games for Windows" and "Live for Windows" goes mainstream, I think there will be a natural shift away from the current offerings like Xfire, Gamespy, and other apps... perhaps even Steam will on day succumb. There's just no telling.

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