2015 was the biggest year in Xbox history

Microsoft has announced that 2015 was the biggest year in Xbox history, with the Xbox One setting global records in engagement and sales. They also shared more fans logged on to Xbox Live on Xbox One on December 28th than any other day in Xbox history. This is just one of the recent highlights for Microsoft in 2015. They've also announced Windows 10 is now active on over 200 million devices and wider availability for the Surface Book.

In 2015, there were some really great games for the Xbox One. Not only did Halo 5: Guardians come out, but we've also seen Forza 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Fallout 4, and Star Wars Battlefront. Make sure to read our list of 25 absolute best games to play on your new Xbox One and Paul's top Xbox One Games of 2015 for more suggestions.

Another highlight for 2015 is the release of the New Xbox One Experience. The signature features include the new guide menu, backwards compatibility, and of course, Windows 10. Make sure to read our review of the New Xbox One Experience for more details.

We're glad to see Xbox finishing strong in 2015. What are you looking forward to seeing in 2016?

Source: Microsoft Blog

Mark Guim

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

51 Comments
  • And Biggest year EVER for Windowsphone
  • The picture of this article really doesn't click with what the story says.
  • Yeah, the article doesn't mention the Elite controller, at least not in the front page version. Not checked any click throygh links.. Though I guess Microsoft being unable to make these fast enough to meet demand is kind of part of the success the article is talking about.
  • Love the Elite controller though.  Just VERY difficult to get :(
  • I thought it was a lame year for Xbox exclusive games.
  • Really? H5, Forza 6, Tomb Raider, Gears?
  • It was the best one for the Xbox One so far, by most measurements.
  • I agree Halo 5 was dull, Tomb Raider didn't get the buzz it needed because of Fallout 4, Forza 6 didn't have much of a difference between Forza 5, COD BO3 is not Call of Duty. Gears of War was a remake (WooHoo) and Backwards compatibility has been lame so far. But that's great that Xbox got record numbers this year. I am team Xbox since 2001 but we need game changers and I think 2016 is showing to be a good year for new games :)
  • Halo 5 is dull maybe in your opinion, but it is regarded as the best Halo since 3. It's my favorite of the series (tied with 3) and I've been playing since CE released. TR not getting the buzz is irrelevant to how good it is. F6 has literally 100%+ more content than 5, looks better, has night/day + weather, and better driving mechanics. CoD isn't exclusive. Gears was $40 and was what Gears' fans have been asking for for years. I'm also not sure how you're claiming BC is lame. Skate, Just Cause, all the Gears, Fallout 3, Halo Reach. I mean there's some good ones on there. No not all AAA games are but they add more each month.
  • It's a good lineup of exclusives, but I really wish Turn 10 would put more effort into the career mode of the mainline Forzas. Forza 6's career is long, arduous, and sterile IMO, even though the gameplay itself is great.
  • Long, arduous and sterile... SPOT ON!
  • What do they mean biggest? Sure, they mentioned triple A titles and NXOE but they didn't quantify anything to corroborate the "biggest" term.
  • Amount of Live active users
  • And engagement of those users. Hours played, stuff like that.
  • More backwards compatibilty please.  Out of my 50+ Xbox 360 games, only 4 were announced backwards compatible.  I still play way more Xbox 360 than Xbox One, it's hard to let go of really good games from the past.  And it would be nice to have only one console that does it all.  Can't have everything, but it would be nice.
  • I must have 20 titles by now, some of the ones I already owned, but many that were a bonus for xbox One releases like gears of war, rare replay, fallout 4, Just cause 3 etc that come with the older games as back compat titles freebies. Unfortunately its down to game publishers if they want their old stuff to be back compat, and I can easily see mobs like activision and ea refusing some of their most popular titles/franchises as they'd ratehr you paid the full price for their new games than be able to play their older (and much of the time, better) games for 'free'.  
  • Best year for Windows 10, surface, Azure, Office products,Xbox,Bing Programming languages by Microsoft. And a very bad year for Windows phone.
  • Yeah, the worst year for Windows Phone so far. :(
  • Still needs to the Windows 10 store. That's the whole point of universal apps.
  • "New Xbox One Experience. The signature features include the new guide menu, backwards compatibility, and of course, Windows 10." The "signature feature" are the anti-consumeristic decisions to remove Kinect gestures, remove infrared controller assignment recognition, remove the ability to run two video apps simultaneously, and a host of other things Microsoft took away from consumers. Furthermore, backwards compatibility isn't a feature of NXOE. It worked just fine on the old "experience". That's just marketing propaganda by Microsoft to distract consumers away from the features they had stolen from them. Finally, calling it "Windows 10" is more propaganda, as there is really nothing about it that makes it "Windows 10", seeing as how it can't run Windows 10 Store apps yet and doesn't even have Cortana yet either.
  • No, it runs Windows 10, it will run Cortana and Windows 10 apps. You're just being idiot :) if you think they "stolen" a lot from you, you can sell it and buy a better console for you including that horrible PS4 UX/UI or Wii :)
  • He's just ignorant. He's been crying about this for a while. Maybe if everyone ignores him he'll go away.
  • He's actually right, and you are being ignorant.
    I would be pissed if I bought the Xbox One and MS took gesture support away, telling me to use voice commands instead, which are not available in my country, and I'm not even allowed to switch to English.
    And calling the new dashboard Windows 10 is like saying WP 7.8 is WP8.
  • As I said, you can sell it and buy another console, they removed these features because almost nobody was using it (yes, they know when you use that). And yes it runs Windows 10 otherwise it would be impossible to run UWP apps this year.
  • Very true. They can't just keep throwing money on a fire in order to please an extreme niche part of the "gaming" population.
  • Mr. Acevedo, you putting "gaming" in quotes exposes you as judgmental, condescending, and nescient, as you're apparently unaware what the One in Xbox One stands for. Seems like you need to go back and look at Day One advertisements from Microsoft and get educated about how it was marketed. Non-gaming uses where heavily highlighted, particularly Kinect gesture navigation. No company has the right to sell a product with a feature, collect that money, and then come in and forcibly take away that feature. That's anti-consumeristic garbage, and your decision to belittle those who got screwed over by Microsoft is objectionable. Windows 8.1 owners did not have to upgrade to Windows 10, nor should Day One Xbox One owners have had to.
  • coip, didn't sony do that with the PS3? They first took away the ability to play PS2 games by rrmoving the 'emotion engine' chip, then removed its ability to run non-sony OSes like linux, and the card reader and god knows what else. Each new revision of the PS3 was less featured than the previous one.
  • Zybch, Sony didn't go into the homes of people who already owned PS2 consoles and then remove the 'emotion engine' chips, thereby taking away features people paid for. People who had those versions of the console could still use that feature. In contrast, my Day One Xbox One cannot do many of the things that I paid for, because Microsoft forced an "upgrade" on me that I didn't want.
  • I know how it was marketed. That was Don Mattrick's legacy, and the misguided early focus on TV and Kinect are the reasons the Xbox One continues to struggle against the PS4 (despite Xbox having come from a position of dominance in the previous generation). It makes sense to be disappointed when features are removed or the focus is shifted away from something you liked. And there's nothing wrong with enjoying Kinect games - but you have to understand that most gamers (and game developers) don't. There's little to no growth potential in that area. At some point, you just have to get over things from the past that displease you, or else you'll never be happy.
  • There were tons of growth potential in the Kinect a few ears ago. 8 million people dusted of their old rusty 360s and gladly purchased the new motion sensor. Untill the Xbox One arrived, new Kinect 360 games were realeased, new ideas were explored, despite the Kinect gen 1 being pretty crippled, and people loved it.
    Then the Kinect 2.0 ensued, with HD cameras, night vision and the abilty to track muscle tension and haeartbeat... but with no games to take advantage of technology and possibilties, and the market stalled due to poor Xbox One sales. And no wonder that developers don't care, as only around 5 milllion Xbox One consoles have actualy been purchased by customers worldwide, and probably no more than 1 million of them with the so far useless Kinect 2.0 sensor. Compared to over 20 million Kinect 360 users, it seems that the time of Kinect 2.0 is yet to come, unless Microsoft bins it along with WP. Meanwhile, millions of X360 users continue to use the original Kinect with gestures in their favourite games, and see no compelling reasons to upgrade to the "next gen" which runs the same old games with no new experience.  
  • Those are certainly factors for the Kinect 2's poor reception. If they were going to bundle an expensive peripheral that has a negative perception among critics, developers, and mainstream gamers, they definitely should've had a strong lineup of compelling games to go along with it. That never happened, and now (I think we're in agreement) it's too late to turn things around now. I talked to a developer who worked on some pretty well-liked Xbox 360 Kinect games, and even that developer wasn't too crazy about it. The other developer made slightly less well-liked but still higher quality ones, and they felt the same way. I don't think they had worked with the Kinect 2 though.
  • Paul, who said they had to spend money?  They REMOVED it as part of their stupid New Xbox One Experience which most people hate but now can't remove.  
  • I'm not in favor of removing gesture controls. I don't even like the NXOE all that much (although I still prefer it to the PS4 UI). I just meant that spending money to support the Kinect is a futile course of action given how much money it caused them to lose in this generation.
  • How would selling it and buying another console restore those features? Furthermore, if it doesn't run UWP yet, then it's not truly running Windows 10 yet.
  • "Furthermore, if it doesn't run UWP yet, then it's not truly running Windows 10 yet."   Don't make things up. If you don't know anything about software, don't generate facts based off your ignorance. You are simply WRONG.
  • Axe Body Spray: "I've told you dozens of times across dozens of articles over several months to stop harassing me with your ignorant and unsolicited posts. You're a terrible person who mocks the plights of disabled people, has been diagnosed with sociopathy, are incapable of understanding basic logic, and who naively argues about topics you're clearly uneducated on. You're the epitome of the Dunning-Kruger effect. I have no interest in anything you vomit out. Go take your sociopathic trolling elsewhere."
  • You're almost as off base as he is. Just because something doesn't look the same, doesn't mean it's not. There are hundreds of examples of things like this, but in software it's the most prevelant. You can control what a users sees and execute the exact same code under it. That doesn't change what the OS is, it just changes what you see. Educate yourself a little further next time.
  • Tomaz, it wasn't the New Xbox One Experience, that was utter ****. The windows 10 bit was all under the hood stuff.  The console really is running 10, and I wish they'd let me keep my nice old UI that worked so well instead of the gimped New Xbox One Experience bullpoop.
  • When it runs UWP apps they can count it towards Win10 numbers, until then it's BS (just like telling developers when Win8 came out to build sore apps because Windows has 1.5 billion users was BS)
  • And still behind PS...
  • Although I have both systems, I dont agree with you.... there is was more Exclustive deals on the xbox one.... All of PS's top tiles have been delayed to later in 2016.... Even Uncharted 4 just got delayed again.... It's ok to have tiles coming but, Sony needs to release titles not delay them again and again... Then you have 360 compatbity on the Xbox one...Does Sony ? No PS3 support and they said no, you got PS1 games, that even if you own it, you need to buy....
  • There's nothing to disagree on. PS4 sold more the XboxOne. It's a fact so "stlil behind PS" is correct. Which one is better? Which one has better exclusive games? Which one runs games better? Which one will sell more in 2016? All up for debate but doesn't change the fact, Xbox is still behind PS... in sales.
  • More consoles, but nowhere near as many games.  And its the games where the profits are made. I've got both systems, always have, but I think I've bought perhaps 5 games for the PS4, and many times that for xbox.  There are some exclusives like Uncharted series or forza/halo that forced me to one or the other system, but overall I play the xbox far more even for the cross platform titles, its just a fresher nicer experience for me. The Backwards Compatibility is a huge selling point, and something sony simply won't be able to achieve with their PS3 library.
  • Unfortunately MS started Xbox One with the wrong foot :/ and Sony started this race way ahead.
  • Not really.  Sony actually had pretty much the same always-on thing as MS, but after seeing the huge backlash against MS when it was announced, sony scrambled and quickly changed their plans and presentation a couple of days later. It was a great move, and now barely anyone knows that they were planning on doing exactly the thing that they used as a way to attack MS.  Thankfully MS saw the error of their wayts too, but in hindsight I'd have preferred their original vision.
  • Microsoft: The Xbox One set records in sales in 2015 Me: How many did it sell? Microsoft: We aren't sharing that info...   When they say broke records, do they mean for Xbox One sales? so if it sold 5 more than the Xbox One sold in 2014 we'll call it setting records? People are under false impressions that the Xbox One is so popular that app developers would be rushing to do UWP apps to support it and as a result save Windows Phone when the reality is that there are a lot more WP devices out there. Anyway, PS4 still sold more, not that it really matters since both consoles are doing well and not selling more won't kill Xbox.
  • Its NOT about console sales, both companies probably make a loss, its about game sales and attach rates (MS and Sony make a small amount from EVERY game sale), and even though neither company has provided these numbers for a long time now, when last they did the Xbox had a LOT more software sales per console sold than team blue. Its one of only a few instances I can think of where lower sales could actually mean more profits lol.
  • Nobody is under the impression that Xbox One is going to drive developers to Windows Phone or UWP alone. It's Windows 10, Xbox One, Windows Phone, Hololens, and Windows IoT Core together that people think will drive Universal App support.  Those devices are well over 200 million right now. 
  • DOOM
  • RotTR, MGSV, Fallout 4, and the Elite Controller was all win in my One Book in 2015.
  • The New Xbox One Experience was the most singularly worst thing to happen to Xbox since RRoD!