The Xbox brand encompasses Microsoft's gaming products, including Xbox 360, the current home games console, and Xbox Live, the company's online social gaming service. Xbox competitors include next-generation consoles from Nintendo, such as the Wii, and the Sony PlayStation line. Microsoft entered the gaming industry with its first version of the Xbox in 2001, and soon was offering the console in markets around the world.
The first Xbox console gaming system was introduced to the public in November 2001 and sold for a listed price of $299. It took Microsoft just three weeks to sell its first one million units. The Xbox was replaced in November 2005 by the Xbox 360. The biggest-selling game for the Xbox was "Halo: Combat Evolved," which was the fastest video game to sell one million units at the time of its release. Microsoft benefited from high software sales for the Xbox, as more games were purchased with Xbox consoles than with any of its peer consoles.
More than 50 million Xbox 360 consoles were sold between its release in November 2005 and January 2011. That's more than double the amount of consoles sold of the previous generation Xbox. The Xbox 360 console emerged as the best-selling console in the United States in late 2010 and early 2011. Microsoft offered four versions of the console as of the time of publication, and the company listed more than 800 games for sale on its website.
Xbox Live has proved popular with online gamers. As of the time of publication, the service had more than 30 million people in 35 countries who were established gamers and approximately 20 million people signed onto play on an average day, according to PC Magazine. A new Xbox Live player signed up at a rate of every two seconds. For an eight-year stretch between early 2003 and early 2011, Xbox Live users played more than four billion hours of multiplayer gaming. The average gamer score on Xbox Live was 11,286 in March 2011.
The Kinect sensors for Xbox 360 were the fastest-selling consumer electronics launch ever, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Microsoft sold 10 million Kinect units between the device's introduction in November 2010 and March 2011. The selling of eight million Kinects in the first 60 days of the device's availability, running from Nov. 4, 2010 to Jan. 3, 2011, was the most consumer electronics units ever sold in the first two months of its availability on the retail market.
- "Microsoft Unveils New Xbox Live Statistics," PC Magazine, David Murphy, March 2011
- Xbox: Kinect Sales Surpass Ten Million
- Planet Xbox 360: Latest Xbox 360 Facts and Figures
- "The Complete History of Xbox," Computer and Video Games, Dec. 2005
- The Game Console: Xbox 360
- "A History of Video Game Consoles," Time Magazine