Microsoft’s Xbox Live platform continues to add more users as the company expands its gaming business across consoles and PC devices.
As part of its quarterly earnings report posted Thursday, Microsoft said Xbox Live monthly active users reached a record 55 million — up 15 percent from the same quarter last year.
Much of the growth was due to another busy holiday season for Microsoft, which saw Xbox One U.S.-based sales reach record highs in December, even three years after the console debuted. It was the top-selling console in the U.S. during the second half of 2016, beating out Sony’s PlayStation 4.
Zack Moxcey, director of investor relations at Microsoft, told GeekWire that the company feels “very good” about the Xbox Live user growth because it demonstrates “strong engagement.”
Moxcey also said that the growth reflects Microsoft’s multiple device gaming approach that is made possible with Windows 10.
For the most recent quarter, Xbox software and services revenue reached $1 billion, up 17 percent from this time last year “from continued adoption of digital distribution and a strong game lineup,” Microsoft noted in its earnings today.
Though Xbox Live membership signups and Xbox game sales were up, overall gaming revenue declined 3 percent due to “lower Xbox console pricing and lower console volume.” Microsoft has been discounting the Xbox One, but also rolled out a new Xbox One S console in August, a smaller and more advanced version of the original product.
Still, gaming revenue clocked in at $3.6 billion — that’s nearly 14 percent of Microsoft’s total revenue for the quarter, which demonstrates the importance of the company’s gaming arm.
Xbox contributes to the company in other ways, as well. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talked about Xbox when asked about Microsoft’s brand image this past October. He described a photo that Microsoft employees use internally for motivation: Someone walking out of a store with an Xbox console, hugging it. “To me, that’s a fan of Xbox,” Nadella said.
Microsoft is set to release Project Scorpio, “the most powerful console ever built,” later this year.