Xbox has seen more than 270 million new friend relationships created on its Live platform since lockdown.

Xbox control

Xbox control

Xbox chief Phil Spencer has revealed the extent of Xbox's popularity amid the coronavirus lockdown, suggesting user numbers have spiked dramatically during the health crisis.

He said: "The nice thing about gaming is it has always been a social activity.

"In fact, during this lockdown time, we've had over 270 million new friend relationships created on Xbox Live.

"So not only are people staying connected with their existing friends, they're finding new friends online as they're playing together, which is really great."

Asked how the production arm of the games business has coped amid the lockdown, he told the BBC: "Yeah, it's been a mix.

"There's certain parts of the creative process in building a game that can happen remotely. But there are certain functions in game production that still require people to be closer together.

"Today's big triple-A blockbuster games involve hundreds of people coming together to build games.

"And we have seen a pause in some things, like motion-capture of actors and some symphonic work involving musicians, where people need to be close.

"But we're still launching games. The teams continue to work and find new ways to work together."