Microsoft Ships 17.7m Xbox 360s WorldwideXbox.com will be posting a letter from Marc Whitten regarding the recent service interruptions on Xbox LIVE, but we wanted to give you a heads up.
Dear Xbox LIVE Members:
During this past holiday season you helped us break a number of Xbox LIVE records. This included our largest sign-up of new members to Xbox LIVE in our 5 year history and just yesterday you broke the record for the single biggest day of concurrent members ever on the service.
As a result of this massive increase in usage we know that some of you experienced intermittent Xbox LIVE issues over the holiday break. While the service was not completely offline at any given time, we are disappointed in our performance. I would like to take this moment to thank you each and every one of you for your patience and understanding as our team has worked around the clock to return the service to a stable state.
At the same time we would like to offer a token of our appreciation to all of you in celebration of record success for the service. And as a thank you for your loyalty during this holiday period, we will be offering all of our Xbox LIVE members around the world access to a full Xbox LIVE Arcade game that will be available to download free of charge. In the coming weeks we will be sharing the specific details of this offer with you.
Thank you again for helping make Xbox LIVE everything that it is today!
General Manager, Xbox LIVE
Before the holiday sales surge, Xbox Live had more than 8 million members, many of whom were paying $50 a year for the premium service that lets them play online against others. Microsoft also reached the 17.7m mark in terms of worldwide console sales, the platform holder confirmed that it has shifted 4.3m units in the last three months.
The company also said "Halo 3", the final installment of its popular sci-fi shooting game that went on sale in late September, had sold 8.1 million copies by the end of the year.
Another Microsoft title, epic sci-fi roleplaying game "Mass Effect", had sold 1.6 million copies since its late November release. The games typically cost $60 per copy.
Microsoft’s announcements came ahead of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this weekend, when Chairman Bill Gates and other executives are expected to give a peek into the future of the company’s products, including the Xbox 360.