Xbox hardware sales are down by 30% compared to last year though the Xbox Game Pass subscription service is showing growth. According to Microsoft’s latest financial results, Xbox Series X/S sales dropped considerably when compared to 2022’s stronger console sales. Microsoft says increased console supply helped but it’s still much easier to find a PS5 in retail stores now than Xbox Series X.
“Xbox hardware revenue declined 30% on a prior year comparable that benefited from an increased console supply,” said Microsoft in one of its earnings slides. The report covers three months starting from 1 January through to 31 March 2023 and compares the numbers to the same period of early 2022. Microsoft admitted that supply issues are partially the reason why it’s still difficult to find Xbox Series X consoles readily available in stores right now, though the company is working to rectify that issue.
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On the other hand, competitor PlayStation has pretty much addressed its increased supply demands as you can now walk into most retailers and purchase a PS5 console outright, though availability is still slowly rolling out depending on the country. Xbox Series X consoles seem to only be available through pricier bundles which might be deterring buyers.
That said, Microsoft also reported a 3% growth in revenue for Xbox Game Pass. Unfortunately the problem is pretty clear for most gamers as Xbox mostly failed to release compelling first-party AAA games in 2022 which would’ve been added day one to Game Pass and driven the subscription service’s revenue further up. However, that problem might not stick around for long as Xbox has a list of first-party games releasing this year including Redfall, Starfield and Forza Motorsport.
On the horizon, Playground Games is also working on a reboot of Fable while Obsidian Entertainment is hard at work on both The Outer Worlds 2 and its Skyrim-inspired RPG, Avowed. Ninja Theory’s Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is also on the schedule so Microsoft is banking on these releases to push Xbox console sales, though the priority seems to be on pushing Game Pass subscriptions first.