Speaking at the All Things D: Dive into Media industry event, senior Microsoft executives announced that the usage of their Xbox platform has expanded significantly, with worldwide sales of over 76 million consoles and the usage of entertainment content growing 57% in 2012.
The data is notable because it highlights the large and growing usage of gaming consoles as a platform for accessing TV and movie content.
These platforms are likely to become even more important in upcoming months. Sony is expected to announce a new version of its competing PlayStation console next week.
That launch will heat up the ongoing competition between the two platforms, particularly in the U.S., where Microsoft says the Xbox 360 has been the No. 1 selling console for 24 consecutive months.
Overall, Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president at Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, reported that there are now some 46 million subscribers to Xbox Live services, up 15% over the last year and that the amount of TV and entertainment offerings on Xbox almost tripled in 2012, with nearly 100 custom, voice-controlled Xbox Live apps available.
That fueled record entertainment usage, with Xbox delivering over 18 billion hours of entertainment content in 2012, up 10% over 2011.
Overall, the average Xbox Gold subscriber in the U.S. now spends 87 hours a month on Xbox. Worldwide, entertainment app usage grew 57% in the last year.