Microsoft says Xbox Live engagement reached an all time high last year

Xbox Live is Microsoft’s online gaming service, and it’s grown a ton since its initial launch back in November 2002. Starting off as a relatively basic (but still game changing) online service, it’s grown host to a massive community that shows no signs of shrinking. This really showed in 2016, which ended up being the service’s biggest year yet.

Announced on Xbox Wire earlier today, Mike Nichols (the Corporate Vice President of Marketing for Xbox) took a look at some of 2016’s Xbox statistics, which show a total of 3.9 billion hours spent on Xbox Live last year. This is an all time high, and a massive 23% jump up from last year’s results. While no explicit reason is given, it’s easy to assume that the high sales of the Xbox One S helped. 265 million of those hours were spent playing Xbox 360 games through Backward Compatibility, which lets Xbox One users play plenty of the 360 games that they already own.

The Xbox One hit a few more milestones in 2016, like the launches of Xbox Play Anywhere, Gears of War 4, and Forza Horizon 3. Almost 400 games came out last year total, and Forza Horizon 3 became the highest selling (and most played) racing game of the year with over 14 million players.

As for Windows 10 statistics, over 2.5 billion hours were spent playing Windows Store titles – a 127% increase from last year.

All in all, it looks like 2016 was the Xbox’s best year in a while. Between dominating sales, great games launching, and more chances to play older titles, there’s a lot to like about the Xbox One.

What was your favorite Xbox moment of 2016? Let us know in the comments below!

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