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TV and movies overtake online gaming on Xbox 360


More people are now using their Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles to watch television and films, than to play games with their friends in the US.

The new figures, released by Microsoft, show that Xbox Live Gold members in the US are now spending an average of 84 hours per month accessing content through apps on Xbox Live. Entertainment app usage has more than doubled year-on-year and there has been a 30 per cent increase in the total number of hours spend on the platform around the world.

For the first time Microsoft says that Xbox Live members are now spending more time watching TV, music and films on the Live platform, that playing multiplayer games.

Steve Bailey, a games analyst at ISH Screen Digest, commented: “Through Xbox Live, Microsoft has been able to refresh the suite of services offered on Xbox 360, and has been gradually repositioning the console as a connected device capable of more than online multiplayer gaming for several years now. Moreover, an update to the Xbox 360 dashboard that took place at the end of 2011 shifted the prominence of gaming on the console from front-and-centre, to being one of several channels of content type that could be explored on the machine.

“This evolution of Xbox 360’s capacity for providing services other than gaming is crucial for not just attracting, engaging and monetizing audiences – old and new - but for remaining competitive with other devices and platforms that have found strong traction in people’s lives in recent years, especially smartphones, tablets and social networks.”

However, the figure does not include the number of hours the console is being used be solo game players versus the amount of time the Xbox is used to view content.

Users of Xbox Live in the US can have access to Comcast and HBO via the device. There are no similar figures available for the UK at the moment.

Last week, after three years of negotiations, the BBC iPlayer finally launched on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 consoles, in the UK.

Additionally Xbox 360 users, which have the Kinect motion-controller, are be able to control the iPlayer using hand gestures and voice commands for the first time.