Xbox Game Sales Surge Thanks to Halo 5 and Minecraft, Hardware Revenue Falls

Overall, Microsoft's gaming category rose by $192 million for the latest quarter.

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Microsoft on Thursday reported earnings for the quarter ended December 31. And while Microsoft no longer tells us how many consoles it sold, the company did share some numbers that speak to the health of its gaming business.

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Overall, gaming revenue increased $192 million, or 5 percent, compared to the same period last year. This uptick was attributed in part to higher revenue from Xbox Live (up 24 percent) and game sales (up 47 percent), but offset by lower revenue from hardware (more on that later).

Additionally, Microsoft announced that Xbox Live monthly active users grew by 30 percent compared to last year, reaching a record 48 million. Xbox Live's uptick in revenue was attributed in part to higher volumes of transactions as well as more money per transaction, the company said.

Games sales grew thanks to the launch of Halo 5: Guardians and continued sales of Minecraft, Microsoft said, though it did not share any new numbers on either game.

Overall Xbox hardware revenue dropped by 9 percent, due in part to a lower volume of Xbox 360 consoles sold. Xbox One revenue specifically was also down, but only "slightly," Microsoft said. It shipped more consoles during the period, but overall revenue was offset due to lower prices of the consoles sold compared to last year.

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