Worthies wrote:Xbox live has somewhere in the realm of 50 million users.
(I am aware that these sums aren't exact, and there may be a large number of Silver members, but seriously!)
MS 'fudge' these numbers quite a lot, when they say 50 million users are they counting consoles sold, or consoles made, or actual XBL accounts?
If it's consoles sold then you have to take into account RROD, most of the people I know on XBL have paid for at least 2 consoles, myself included.
If it's consoles made RROD becomes even more of a factor, since most people have had one or more consoles exchanged, I've had 4 maybe 5 over the life of the console and not once have I ever purchased one as an upgrade for a newer version of the hardware.
If it's XBL accounts then a large number have more than one account, I had one for US and one for Japan at one point, lots of people drift away from xbox and then come back and make a new username, a kid I work with has had 2 or 3 himself.
I'd guesstimate the figure to be around 15-25 million real users, so being optimistic lets say 25, with all being gold, that halves the figure you got, then take into account the running costs of XBL, staff, offices, marketing, lots and lots of other thing and that figure gets reduced significantly.
Finally you have to remember you can't go www.anything.com
these days without seeing adverts so MS might as well get in on it too.