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Xbox 360 App Usage Up 30% Year-on-Year, Surpasses Online Gaming

For the first time in history US Xbox gamers are now spending more time using various entertainment apps than gaming on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console.

According to Microsoft, Gold Live members are spending an average of 84 hours a month on Xbox live, with entertainment apps usuage doubling in under year.

These impressive figures mean that total time spent on Xbox Live has increased substantially by 30% and is attributed to Microsoft’s commitment to adding new apps like LoveFilm and Netflix over recent months.

This is obviously great news for Microsoft who has worked tirelessly to try and make the Xbox an all-round entertainment hub of the 21st century.

Microsoft’s change in strategy started when they made the initial dashboard update back in December in 2011 – and have since added services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix and HBO.

Video game sales may have dipped 20% during February, but Xbox LIVE product manager Pav Bhardwaj told Eurogamer that the amount of time spent on multiplayer gaming “hasn’t reduced at all”. He insists, rather, that everything else has just gone up.

“We’re seeing more people spending more time on the Xbox Live platform,” he explained. “The people who are using the platform to enjoy multiplayer gaming, like Call of Duty and Gears of War and Halo, they’re still doing that at the same amount of time they were spending previously. What they’re now doing is spending even more time watching TV, movies and sport, via their Xbox 360.”

Either way, Microsoft has to be pleased with fan usage of the console – whether it is through gaming or entertainment. And apparently, consumers like what Microsoft is doing.  The Xbox 360 has held on to the top spot in console sales in the U.S. for 14 months straight.

The latest update to Xbox Live brings premium streaming video services from Comcast Xfinity, MLB.tv and HBO Go to US consoles today. The update, announced on Microsoft’s Major Nelson’s blog, isn’t the cable killer many had thought, because users will still need a cable subscription to access the features, similarly to Sky player.

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