Xbox Live users topple 40 million

The number of Xbox 360 consoles that have been sold is now over 66 million, Microsoft confirmed.

Company CEO Steve Ballmer gave an update on all the relevant Xbox numbers during his keynote address at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Ballmer said that of those 66 million Xbox 360 consoles, there are 40 million users who have signed up for an online Xbox Live account. That’s a pretty good connectivity rate.

Of course, in order to do simple things like play online games and stream Netflix videos, users need to pay for a premium Xbox Live Gold membership. Ballmer did not say how many active Gold members there are.

To give some perspective, in last year’s Microsoft keynote, it was announced that 50 million Xbox 360 units had been sold.

In addition, Ballmer said that Kinect sales have reached 18 million units. The motion-sensing camera peripheral is part of Microsoft’s push to keep the Xbox 360 relevant after nearly 7 years on the market.

With 18 million units sold, there is strong reason for developers to get on board, but so far Kinect games have largely been casual Wii-like experiences, or slapped-on functionality to games that also support controller compatibility.

There are growing rumors that Microsoft will introduce the Xbox 360 successor at E3 in June.