On January 5th, Microsoft teased the Xbox community saying that fans should look forward to “exciting enhancements” coming to Xbox Live.
Microsoft ran a blog post looking back on their year in 2016, talking about the 15th anniversary of Xbox, and the E3 event where they put forward their vision for gaming. November and December saw Xbox Live engagement hit 3.9 billion hours. This is up by 23% from the previous year, a new all time high.
They also hit various milestones, such as
- Nearly 400 Xbox One games releasing.
- Forza Horizon 3 became the best-selling, highest-rating racing game in 2016, with 14 million users on Xbox One and Windows 10.
- Gears of War 4 launched and had a great reception for it’s various game modes.
- Xbox Play Anywhere launched and allows players to play a growing list of games supporting the feature and continue where they left off on another device.
- Xbox Backward Compatibility saw Xbox One owners playing over 265 million hours on Xbox 360 games.
- Minecraft Education Edition launched, as well as launching on Apple TV and VR platforms. 150 new features were also added alongside 2 dozen updates.
- In November 2016 alone, 2.5 billion hours were gamed on Windows 10 titles and devices.
- Xbox Live was rated as the fastest and most reliable gaming network in an independent study by IHS Markit
- New updates on Xbox One consoles and the Xbox App brought Clubs and Looking For Group options. Cortana and background music were also introduced.
- Xbox Design Lab has seen over 2.4 million personalised controllers be designed.
- The launch of the Xbox One S brought the only console with built-in UHD 4K Blu-ray, 4K video streaming and HDR for gaming and video.
2017 will be bringing even more. With the launch of Project Scorpio and also with some enhancements to Xbox Live.In Spring they aim to bring a range of games that support Xbox Live to Xbox One, Windows 10 or both. There are also expansions and DLC’s coming for many hit games from 2016, and there are also third party partners providing content for the year ahead.
It’s going to be an exciting ride this year I think for many consoles.