Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi has posted an account of the Xbox platform's current and future fortunes on the manufacturer's tech blog. It's heavily laced with buzz - Mehdi is, after all, chief marketing officer of the Interactive Entertainment Division - but there's some interesting stuff to be leavened here which hints at the tenor of Microsoft's E3 keynote.
First off, a little statistical chest-beating. Xbox Live subscribers now spend 84 hours a month on average using the console. Microsoft has sold 67 million consoles worldwide to the tune of $56 billion, boosted by the success of Kinect (19 million units sold). Mehdi says Xbox 360 accounts for 47 per cent of the current generation console market. Also, Xbox 360s travel 56 per cent faster than PS3s and Wiis when you throw them. That last one I made up. I'm a real comedian.
Most impressively of all, Xbox 360 remains the only console in history to see continuous growth since launch. "As a result of people engaging with Xbox more frequently for more entertainment activities, we have been able to defy gravity compared to where consoles traditionally are at this point in their lifecycle. Sales for Xbox 360 in year five were greater than in year four, sales in year six were greater than in year five, and sales in year seven were greater than in year six."
Medhi attributes this in large degree to the broadening of the Xbox platform's offering. You already know that 'it's not just about the games' - turns out it's not just about the console, too. "To date, our success with Xbox has been led by a box in the living room. Moving forward, Xbox will go beyond the box to reach all new families of devices.
"Just as Xbox has grown to mean more than just games, it also is more than just a console. This year, Xbox becomes the premium entertainment service for Microsoft. Whether on your PC, tablet, TV or phone, Xbox will be a gateway to the best in music and video, your favorite games and instant access to your friends. With the launch of Windows 8, we'll bring Xbox entertainment to everyone. With Xbox on Windows 8 devices, we rapidly accelerate the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 60 million people to hundreds of millions of people worldwide."
Medhi concludes by promising new games and "a few surprises" at E3 next week. We have a few thoughts about the games likely to unveil - peruse our feature Microsoft's E3: what to expect and what not to expect for more.