Mehul Reuben DasAug 16, 2022 13:43:44 IST
People, especially gamers, have always suspected that Sony’s PlayStation 4 outsold the Microsoft Xbox One. Microsoft never acknowledged this and tried to push the Xbox One using various bundled offers, including Game Pass. Microsoft also positioned as the Xbox as an entry into gaming on a limited budget – instead of having to purchase a hardcore and expensive gaming computer or laptop, go for the Xbox One.
Now, though, Microsoft has finally admitted what most gamers knew all along. What comes as a surprise though, is the extent to which the PS4 outsold the Xbox One.
Microsoft stopped reporting its Xbox One sales figures at the beginning of its 2016 financial year, focusing instead on Xbox Live numbers, a datapoint, which did not differentiate between Xbox gamers and PC users who used Xbox services on their desktop computers and laptops.
Analysts have always believed that Microsoft actually was at the third spot in terms of gaming consoles sold, behind Sony and Nintendo. In a recent filing by the Portugese arm of Microsoft, the tech giant seems to be admitting, that their gaming consoles did not sell nearly as well as the PS4.
“Sony has surpassed Microsoft in terms of console sales and installed base, having sold more than twice as many Xbox in the last generation,” said the documents that Microsoft’s Portugese arm had filed.
Sony no longer reports the numbers around the sales of the PS4, which means lifetime sales of the PS4 are at about 117.2 million units as of March 2022. While Microsoft hasn’t provided a concrete sales number for Xbox One, its admission means the company must have sold less than approximately 58.5 million units.
Ampere Analysis, a London-based market research firm, revealed in 2020, that their analysis places the install base of Xbox One at 51 million units at the end of Q2 2020. Nintendo Switch currently sits at 111.08 million lifetime sales and looks set to pass PS4’s latest officially available figures later this year.
One of the major reasons why Microsoft’s Xbox One fared so poorly was the fact that it had a horrendous launch. And this is something that Sony’s PlayStation 5 has had to deal with
The gap between the latest generation of consoles is considerably less, but Sony still manages to eke out a sizeable lead over Microsoft. Ampere Analysis says “Sony ended 2021 with PS5 cumulative sell-through reaching 17 million units, around 1.6 times the performance of Xbox Series sales.”
Sony clearly has been riding the wave that the success of the PS4 had generated. There’s also the fact that Sony has a number of exclusive titles that the Xbox console does not, even though the state of exclusives in 2022 is quite different than it was even three or four years ago.
However, in most markets, the PS5 isn’t even available and is being sold in lots. Even in the US, which is the biggest market for the PS5, the consoles are sold using an invitation system on platforms like Amazon, while the Xbox Series S/X are readily available. Clearly, Sony needs to put its procurement and production cycles in order.