Using a video game console to order pizza might sound like one of those things that humanity will look back on as a benchmark highlighting our inexorable decline into couch-based life forms, but gamers have taken to the new method of bread-and-cheese injection with gusto. Pizza Hut announced this week that it sold $1 million worth of pizza through its Xbox 360 app in less than four months after it was first launched in April 2013.
This is still a small part of Pizza Hut's overall business — Doug Terfehr, director of public relations, told NBC News that the restaurant chain pulls in more than $1 billion in online orders a year at this point. But Terfehr also noted that the Xbox 360 app, which lets users create a virtual rendition of their pizza using the console's motion-tracking Kinect technology, is pulling in new customers in the process.Though he wouldn't share the total number of Xbox 360-based customers, Terfehr said that 11 percent of those who used the app had never ordered from Pizza Hut before.
"Our goal is to make it as convenient as possible to order pizza," Terfehr said, "and do so in a way that enhances the experience you're already having."
There's still no word from Microsoft or Pizza Hut about a possible Pizza Hut app on the new Xbox One console. But considering just how powerful and alarmingly accurate the new Xbox's Kinect camera is, many gamers will certainly be thrilled by the promises of next-gen pizza delivery.
Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered technology and games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at: Yannick.LeJacq@nbcuni.com.