1up was there to cover Microsoft's annual Gamefest event, and came away with some interesting information. Across all of its gaming platforms (Xbox Live, Games for Windows, MSN Games, etc.), the company claims 100 Million gamers per month
. Xbox Live, in particular, received attention at the event. The company talking about more demos, downloads, and microtransactions
being the hallmarks for the future of the service. From that article: "While Microsoft wants demos and add-ons to be a critical part of the plans for games, they also iterated the importance of other parts of the Marketplace. The personalization options offered by the Gamer Pictures and Themes is something Microsoft will continue to encourage developers to create. However, the notion that these 360-pieces of flair would regularly appear free on the Marketplace should be squashed, for now. Microsoft indicated that they have very strict limitations on free content and that they intend on keeping the gamer pictures and themes pretty consistently priced."