On January 28, Microsoft announced that the number of Xbox Live subscribers has reached a total of 48 million, a record-breaking tally. The amount is also considered as that of the total active users in one month.
The total number of subscribers is a result of a 30% increase compared to the 39 million users Xbox Live amassed last year, according to Microsoft. Kevin Turner, the company’s chief operating officer, pointed fingers at the holiday season for the major increase, saying, “It was a strong holiday season for Microsoft highlighted by Surface and Xbox.”
Xbox Live serves as Microsoft’s central online hub for users of the tech company’s Xbox One and Xbox 360 video game consoles. The service allows players from all over the world to connect their systems and play with or against each other. Players first need to subscribe in order to use the service, and as Turner pointed out, the Christmas season can be blamed for the record-breaking success.
Forbes calculated that Microsoft can earn as much as $2.88 billion this 2016 should all 48 million subscribers continue paying for the services. Xbox Live costs $5 or $10 depending on the subscription bundle the players purchase.
In the same announcement, Microsoft admitted that sales of smartphones saw a 49% decline in constant currency due to a change of strategy they adapted in July 2015.
“Our commercial business executed well as our sales teams and partners helped customers realize the value of Microsoft’s cloud technologies across Azure, Office 365 and CRM Online,” Turner said.
In other Xbox-related news, Microsoft also announced that new features have been added to the Xbox Beta app for PCs and smartphones running Windows 10. Highlights of the announcement include the Avatar Store, Xbox News, new Trending items and a suggested friends feature. “This month, we’re focused on continuing to improve social features that help you stay connected to the Xbox Live community across your console and PC,” wrote Mollie Ruiz-Hopper, Editor-in-Chief of the Windows Blog.