Xbox 360 records a record 10 million consoles sold

Xbox 360 Elite console It seems that the Xbox 360 console is doing pretty well in EMEA with 10 million consoles sold, I would just love to know how much of the 10 million units sold can be attributed to South Africa.

The official press release follows:

Johannesburg- Xbox 360 announced that it had achieved console sales to 10 million consumers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa in just four years. Reaching the landmark number has meant that Xbox 360 is the only console to achieve year-on-year growth across the region this year[1].

“Xbox 360 continues to pull ahead of the competition when it comes to delivering on a complete home entertainment experience,” said Martin Olausson, Director of Digital Media Research at Strategy Analytics. “By introducing innovative new services and content such as Natal, Xbox will likely attract a wider audience than its rivals and is in a great position to maximise sales in the next few years”.

2009 has been a pivotal year in Xbox’s journey from its gaming origins to now changing the way people consume and share entertainment content, interact with each other online and continue to play great games.

“Reinventing entertainment through play, watch, connect and share. This is the vision that we have for Xbox 360 and today that vision is the reality for 10 million Xbox owners. European consumers are very discerning and demand a connected entertainment experience. That’s why we focused on providing content that is right and relevant for them and entertainment beyond just gaming to movies, music and social networking. We have delivered on this promise and next week will bring real innovation into the living room through instant streaming high definition movies, connecting with friends on Facebook and Twitter and a personalised music channel. Together, this represents a real shift in the way people are entertained every day,” said Chris Lewis, vice president Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft Europe.

This reinvention of entertainment has already seen a shift in where the Xbox lives in the home, with the majority (60%) of Xbox’s now becoming integrated into the family living room. It has also caused a shift in Xbox’s customer base as now 35% of Xbox customers are women and 64% are over the age of 25[2]. The arrival of the much anticipated ‘Project Natal’ will create a new category of gaming and entertainment experiences through controller-free gaming that makes Xbox 360 more inclusive and relevant to an even wider audience.

[1] Xbox 360 remains the only console showing positive year-on-year growth in 2009 so far, both across EMEA as a whole and in each of the 5 main markets within the region (UK, FR, DE, ES, IT) – Microsoft estimates based on Gfk ChartTrack data

[2] April 2009 Microsoft Internal Research Study

Comztek is the new Xbox distributor for SA

Comztek logoIt was sad to see Mi Digital got through liquidation however its great that Comztek has been appointed the official distributor for South Africa. Comztek has been distributing most, if not all, Microsoft hardware for the last couple of years. Not sure if I like that they are exclusive as I believe competition in supply chains is the key to optimising the supply chain and service levels.

Here is the official press release:

15 September 2009, Johannesburg – Xbox South Africa has officially appointed Comztek as its exclusive distributor in South Africa. Having taken on the challenge of being an interim distributor following the news of Mi Digital’s liquidation, Comztek has exceeded expectations of managing the distribution for Xbox over the last three months.“We are encouraged with the service received so far, addressing our priority of ensuring continuity of supply into the local market. We are confident that Comztek will continue to effectively manage and indeed grow the business of Xbox console, first party software and accessory distribution in South Africa,” says Lance Thorp, country manager, Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft South Africa.

Powercare remains the service agency for Xbox 360 consoles and will continue to manage the Xbox Warranty process.  Contact number : 011 997 5000.

Windows Live ID to finally support OpenID

It looks like the Windows Live team is at it again. They’ve taken the plunge at PDC 2008 and committed to supporting the OpenID initiative.

All Windows Live product teams are committed to supporting open standards where such standards are relevant to our work and when they reach a sufficient level of maturity, and the Windows Live ID Team is no exception. We have been tracking the evolution of the OpenID specification, from its birth as just a dream and a vision through its development into a mature, de facto standard with terms that make it viable for us to implement it now.

We look forward to making it easier for our users to access the Web sites they use, by reducing their need to create additional identity accounts. That is the promise of OpenID. We are happy to support that goal by providing OpenID-based sign-in functionality to Windows Live ID account holders.

This may not seem like much but its Microsoft validating an open standard and making every one of their Hotmail and Passport users have ubiquitous access to a growing number of OpenID-enabled websites.

Well done to the Windows Live team.

ServerQuest – Dilbert meets Space Quest

ServerQuestIts like Dilbert meets the good old quest games from Sierra Online. Yeah I’m talking about the hugely popular Police Quest, Kings Quest and Space Quest series from what was it, the late 1980s?

Blue MonsterWell it looks like somebody at Microsoft liked them as much as I did. They have created their very own quest game, in Flash. Its called Microsoft TechNet ServerQuest and its all about the life of a server techie named Matt and is set in a typical IT department. One of the cool things about it are the web tie-ins where you need to lookup web articles to get clues to complete the quests.

A rather cool surprise was the appearance of the Blue Monster, the new Microsoft staff mascot.

Do yourself a favour and spend some time playing it, its quite fun.