2015 was a big year for Xbox, culminating in their best holiday season to date
Despite admitting defeat in this console generation, Microsoft’s Xbox department still has a lot to be proud of this coming year, as the last year was one of the best they’ve ever had. And, the best reflection of this success came from the holiday season, where Xbox Live usage hit a record high and was the best they’ve ever seen. Hours spent on gaming during this period also superseded last year’s stats and the Xbox One is, overall, much better off in this stage of its life than the Xbox 360 was.
Moreover, though sales may have been lower than the PS4, the Xbox One still sold better than the Xbox 360. Further helping these numbers were the many exclusives, which Microsoft has dubbed the greatest gaming lineup in its history. All these exclusive titles sold more than one million copies each and Microsoft’s own studios more than doubled their market penetration compared to last year.
The company also brought Windows 10 to its console, knitting its family of products closer together. Accompanying this change were a number of exciting features, such as Cross-Buy and Cross-Play, along with other Xbox-centric improvements, like native backward compatibility for Xbox 360 games. Xbox users also heard Cortana outside of a Halo game for the first time. With over 4 billion achievements earned during the past year, gamers are interfacing with their Xbox more than ever before.
The previous year also saw Microsoft making one of the biggest acquisitions in its history: a stupendous $2.5 billion buyout of Minecraft. While that number still makes your head go dizzy, the purchase was likely one of Microsoft’s most successful, as the game has already brought in massive returns and has retained its top spot in the Windows Store since its inception.
All in all, 2015 was a great year for Microsoft in gaming, with a slew of exciting games and a number of innovative new features. 2016, though, promises to be even bigger, with big names like Quantum Break, Fable Legends, Gears of Wars 4 and many others to follow.