Last generation was a near-sweep of console sales in PlayStation’s favour, with the PS4 climbing to a grand total of 117.2 million units as of March 2022. However, Microsoft had been quiet about the lifetime sales for Xbox One. In fact, we didn’t get any official numbers for Xbox One sales after 2016’s fiscal year. Now, Microsoft has finally admitted that the PS4 sold twice as many units as the Xbox One.
Recent documents submitted by Microsoft to Brazil’s national competition regulator finally reveals what many already suspected. “Sony has surpassed Microsoft in terms of console sales and installed base, having sold more than twice as many Xbox in the last generation,” Microsoft admitted in the documents.
Since PS4’s lifetime sales came in at around 117.2 million, it’s safe to assume that Microsoft sold less than approximately 58.5 million Xbox One units. Ampere Analysis provided some market research in 2020 which listed Xbox One sales at 51 million units, which lines up with Microsoft’s admission.
As for why this market shift happened given the close sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation, it can be attributed to a number of factors. However, the core of the problem, according to many fans, was how the last generation kicked off. Xbox One’s initial reveal was met with swift backlash and memeing from the community as Microsoft placed more emphasis on the console’s TV capabilities above its gaming hardware and features.
Additionally, Microsoft also originally introduced strict DRM restrictions on the console that made it impossible for players to trade games in to retailers or exchange with friends – something that PlayStation quickly capitalised on and took the opportunity to slam Microsoft with a short but sweet promo video for PS4 that drove the nail in the coffin.
Conversations have shifted this generation, however, as Microsoft is now confident in the Xbox Series X/S with its biggest selling point being the value of Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft is also a lot more open about its sales figures now than the previous generation as both the Xbox Series X/S and PS5 have gotten off to good starts, though not quite almost equal footing yet.
Source: The Verge