According to Microsoft, the Xbox Live Marketplace just passed the 50 million downloads marker which is double the 25 million point reached just three months ago. Clearly, Xbox Live is where the 360 is putting its faith in success, but this can't be anything but great and surprising news for the console and its fans.

The PR squad at Xbox also released these telling figures:
  • Texas Hold 'em set a one day record as the fastest download item ever on the Marketplace. There were over 100 downloads a minute in the first 24-hours of release.
  • Over 2 billion hours spent on Xbox Live by gamers across the globe since the launch of the Xbox Live online gaming network in November 2002
  • More than 60 percent of Xbox 360 owners are connected to Xbox Live
  • 65 percent of all connected consoles already downloading and playing Xbox Live Arcade titles
  • Over 8 million downloads of Xbox Live Arcade games following the launch of Xbox 360
  • Over 2 billion Microsoft Points sold to date
It's going to be interesting to see the comparable numbers Sony will release when its new online service starts, as well as Nintendo. With Microsoft's huge head start in the online console market, how soon could either of them conceivably catch up to the numbers and potential of Xbox Live?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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