The Xbox One sold less well than the PlayStation 4. The intuition of all market observers was confirmed by official statements from Microsoft, which conceded that Sony had won this round of the console war.
We knew that the Xbox One had been less successful than the PlayStation 4. On the other hand, if it was almost certain that Sony had won the war on the penultimate generation of console, we did not know exactly by what margin… Until now.
58 million Xbox One sold
Since 2015, Microsoft had stopped communicating on the sales figures of its console, preferring to measure its success with the “engagement rate” of its users. Opposite, Sony had delivered impressive figures with 117.2 million PS4s sold between the time of its release (in 2013) and March 2022. We now know that, by Microsoft’s own admission, the PlayStation “would have sold more than twice as much as the Xbox One”. We can therefore deduce that it has sold about 58 million Xbox One in all.
That’s what we learn in a legal document entrusted to the Brazilian competition authority. The latter, responsible for examining whether the acquisition of Blizzard by Microsoft does not represent an abuse of a dominant position, had access to a whole lot of data kept secret until now, including those concerning sales of Xbox One.
Microsoft lays low
There is no doubt that, beyond the admission of failure concerning the sales figures, Microsoft leaked this information to prove that its acquisition of the publisher Activision does not represent a threat to the video game industry. With a Sony that sells twice as many consoles as Microsoft, should we really prevent the company from buying back successful licenses? Especially since the trend seems to be confirmed with the PS5 and the Xbox Series X / S. According to Ampere Analysisthe year 2021 would have ended with 17 million PS sold, i.e. “1.6 times more” than the number of Xbox. All this despite the shortage of components that continues to handicap the video game sector.
Also, Xbox One sales numbers probably aren’t of much interest to Microsoft anymore. With the Game Pass, the Windows publisher has completely taken the turn towards dematerialized gaming and cloud-gaming. Available on console, PC, mobile and even on some connected TVs, Microsoft’s video game catalog is not intended to remain a prisoner of the Xbox. No doubt the manufacturer would not have spat on higher sales figures, but, given the legal attention that the announcement of the acquisition of Activision triggered, the company has every interest in precisely making profile down.