With the advent of a new year, Microsoft is looking back at 2016 and what its Xbox platform managed to achieve through its loyal consumer-base.
Posting on Xbox Wire, marketing vice president Mike Nichols revealed that Xbox Live “engagement” in November and December was the highest in the history of the Xbox brand. Players logged 3.9 billion hours during the holiday season, up by 23 percent compared to last year.
Forza Horizon 3 was the biggest launch in the Forza franchise as well as the best-selling and highest-rated racing game of 2016. No sales figures were shared. However, Microsoft did mention that more than 14 million users have now played a Forza game on Xbox One and PC.
Gears of War 4, another major release from last year, registered “incredible engagement” on Xbox Live. Since its release in October, players have logged over 23 million Versus and Horde matches.
Regarding Microsoft’s backwards compatibility program, players spent 265 million hours going through various Xbox 360 games on the new current-gen console. Red Dead Redemption, Burnout Paradise, the Mass Effect trilogy, and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion were some of the most played titles in the program.
Microsoft teased that the catalog of backwards compatible games continues to grow with more games coming this month.
Elsewhere, 2016 saw over 150 new features added to Minecraft. 2.5 billion hours were spent by players on Windows 10 in November alone, which accounts for an increment of 127 percent compared to last November.
The Xbox Design Lab program was an incredible hit. Over 2.4 million custom controllers have been created so far. No clarification was given as to whether this figure pertains to units shipped or not.
Looking ahead to 2017, Nichols stated that it’s poised to be a “special” year for everyone. Project Scorpio is the “most powerful console” ever made and will launch with a “terrific portfolio of new games”. Several improvements are also being planned for online services.