Xbox Live closing in on 50 million active players

Microsoft is reporting a sharp rise in Xbox Live users following the busy festive period.

The firm now has a whopping 48 million monthly active players, which is up 30 per cent on this time last year and easily tops the 37 million active players recorded last summer.

Although the figures do not tell us how many paying subscribers Xbox Live currently has, it allows us to conclude that many more folks are using the service regularly.

While Microsoft remains coy about the number of Xbox One consoles it has actually sold, the jump in ‘active players’ suggests the next-gen device may have enjoyed a merry Christmas.

Earlier this month is was confirmed the Sony PS4 had racked up nearly 36 million sales, including 5.7m over the festive period. Microsoft is thought to be trailing in the PS4’s wake.

See also: Xbox One vs PS4

Elsewhere in Microsoft’s earnings report, the company reported more strong growth in the Surface division, with device sales up 29 per cent on last year.

Microsoft launched the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 in the latter part in 2015, which surely boosted those numbers.

Unsurprisingly with a dearth of new releases beyond the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, sales of Lumia smartphones plummeted 49 per cent.

Overall, Microsoft may be a little disappointed with its holiday performance. Revenues slipped 10 per cent to $23.8 billion, while profits were down 15 per cent.