There’s no question Microsoft’s Xbox One has had its ups and downs since it was first announced at E3 2013. From backpedaling on certain features that were announced before the console was released to continually being beaten out in monthly sales by the rival PlayStation 4 from Sony, it seems like Xbox has finally started to turn around in 2016. In fact, it even beat the PlayStation 4 a few months in a row sales-wise in 2016 and even sold more on Black Friday than the PlayStation 4 did. Other new additions like Backward Compatibility and the release of the Xbox One S , as well as a renewed focus on gaming certainly helped Xbox get back on track.
In a post on Xbox Wire, Mike Nichols, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for Xbox, not only thanked gamers for making Xbox what it is today, but indicated that 2017 would be even better. Some of the things Xbox gamers can look forward to in 2017 include the release of Project Scorpio, enhancements to Xbox Live, and plenty of new games with Xbox Live support on the Xbox One and Windows 10. The spring is shaping up to see some pretty big releases starting with Halo Wars 2 on February 21, followed by other titles like Mass Effect Andromeda, Resident Evil 7 biohazard, For Honor, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, and more. Existing games like Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, Dead Rising 4, Minecraft, and ReCore (among others) will continue to see new content and expansions over the next year.
Let’s take a look at some of the Xbox milestones from 2016 highlighted by Nichols.
- Xbox One owners enjoyed nearly 400 new games to play in 2016, including critically-acclaimed console exclusives like Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3.
- Forza Horizon 3 became the best-selling, highest-rated racing game in 2016 and the biggest Forza launch to date. The Forza franchise continues to grow and has now seen well over 14 million players on Xbox One and Windows 10.
- Gears of War 4 launched to critical acclaim (Game Informer: 9.25/10, IGN: 9.2/10, Polygon: 9/10) and has had a tremendous reception for its campaign, Horde 3.0 and Versus Multiplayer experiences – all of which are delivered in High Dynamic Range (Xbox One S), 4K (Windows 10) and support cross-play as an Xbox Play Anywhere title. We are seeing incredible engagement on Xbox Live with nearly 23 million Versus Multiplayer and Horde matches played since launch, as well as within the eSports world, where the Gears eSports Pro Circuit has marked the franchise’s dramatic return with a more-than-$1,000,000 prize pool.
- The Xbox Play Anywhere program launched, which enables gamers to play a growing list of titles like Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, ReCore, Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition, Everspace, and Astroneer on Xbox One and on Windows 10 PC at no additional cost. You can pick up where you left off on either device, bringing all your saves, game add-ons and achievements with you.
- Xbox One owners enjoyed more than 265 million hours playing Xbox 360 games in 2016, including highly-requested titles like Red Dead Redemption, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: World at War, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Skate 3, via Xbox One Backward Compatibility.
- It was a big year for the Minecraft community with the launch of Minecraft: Education Edition as well as the release of Minecraft to new platforms such as Gear VR, Oculus Rift and Apple TV. In addition, 150 new features were added to Minecraft from more than two dozen updates.
- With new titles for Windows 10 and growth in Windows 10 devices, gamers played more than 2.5 billion hours just in November 2016, which is a 127 percent increase compared to November 2015.
- Xbox Live was rated the fastest, most reliable gaming network in an independent study by IHS Markit in the U.S. and U.K.
- New system updates on Xbox One and the Xbox app brought Clubs and Looking for Group (LFG) on Xbox Live, as well as Cortana and Background Music. Since the release of Xbox One in 2013, over 200 new features have been added.
- Fans created over 2.4 million personalized Xbox Wireless Controller designs via Xbox Design Lab in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
- Last but not least, we launched Xbox One S, delivering the only console with built-in UHD 4K Blu-ray, 4K video streaming and HDR for gaming and video. New titles with HDR support included Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, NBA 2K17, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Final Fantasy XV, The Elder Scrolls Online, and World of Tanks. Xbox One S was among the top-selling consumer products this holiday in many markets, and its launch helped set the engagement records we experienced.
What do you think about where Xbox is currently sitting right now? Do you think 2016 will be remembered as a turnaround year for the console? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.[button link=”http://news.xbox.com/2017/01/05/xbox-closes-milestone-year-in-2016/” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Xbox Wire[/button]