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article imageXbox gamers played for 325 million hours during Black Friday week

By James Walker     Dec 4, 2015 in Entertainment
Microsoft has revealed that record numbers of gamers took the day off work to try out hit new titles on their Xbox consoles this Black Friday. The company observed a 196 percent increase in total playtime over the same Black Friday week last year.
In a post on Xbox Wire, Microsoft claims Xbox fans have played games for a combined total of 325 million hours during the past week. Time spent using other Xbox apps, such as for watching videos or listening to music, also dramatically increased, rising 321 percent above the record observed last year.
Microsoft puts the success down to a "winning combination" of critically-acclaimed Xbox One-exclusive games available this season, the launch of several new discounted console bundles for Black Friday and the recent release of the New Xbox One Experience update.
One of the features of the new software is a backwards compatibility mode that lets players run select Xbox 360 titles on their Xbox One. It has already seen 4 million hours of use since the update's launch on November 12.
Xbox gamers have also been busy shopping in the past week. When not playing games or consuming entertainment, they’ve been breaking records on the Xbox Store. Microsoft observed a 55 percent increase in paid users over the Black Friday week last year and saw a 22 percent boost to Xbox One U.S. console sales. The figures make the past week the second biggest in Xbox history.
It's not all about console users though. PC gamers on Windows 10 have set their own records, boosting the platform to gain 30 percent of total market-share on Steam. Players have made extensive use of Xbox One game streaming to play console titles on their computer, streaming over 5 million hours of content since Windows 10's launch. The most popular game in November was Bethesda's acclaimed Fallout 4.
Microsoft's numbers may sound impressive but Xbox is still trailing behind Sony's PlayStation 4 in terms of raw sales. Microsoft did manage to sell more consoles than Sony during the month of October but it was the first time it has done so since April.
The launch of recent blockbuster games like Fallout 4 has also shown once and for all that Sony's console boasts superior performance in many key scenarios. The game suffers from stuttering issues on both platforms but tests have consistently revealed better framerates are produced by the PS4.
It's a similar story with Square Enix's Just Cause 3, launched this week. Performance issues are abundant on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One but it is the latter device that suffers the most. Microsoft's fans may be showing "record engagement" with the platform but the company is still struggling to provide a compelling offering to people who have yet to become fans.
More about Microsoft, Xbox, xbox one, Gaming, Xbox live
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