Microsoft doesn’t release Xbox One sales figures. The company chose to stop doing so when it became clear the PS4 was going to curb-stomp it for the entirety of the current console cycle and as a result, the only figures anyone has for Xbox One sales are third-party estimates. Microsoft obviously believes that by refusing to admit its own failure, it’ll somehow protect people from seeing sales data, a fact belied by the constant stream of sales estimates. But its cowardice has another consequence — nobody can tell when Xbox One sales are improving, either.
According to data from the NPD Group, Xbox One sales have improved dramatically over the past 12 months. Here’s the NPD group directly, along with some hilarious data about the NES Classic, which went back on sale in June.
Piscatella went on to note that Xbox One dollar sales have nearly doubled since last year. All of this adds up to a puzzling situation in which the Xbox One X may have had some impact on Microsoft’s overall product shipments, but the evidence of that impact has been entirely hidden by Microsoft’s refusal to release shipment numbers. Granted, the gains are somewhat obviated by the NES Classic’s overall topping of the hardware charts, but this is an inconsequential momentary drop, driven by nostalgia gaming. Nobody views an NES Classic as competition for an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, even if they do consider the current generation a three-way shootout between the Nintendo Switch and the living-room bound rivals of its competitors.
Whether Microsoft can meaningfully make up any ground on the PlayStation 4 remains to be seen, and I’m not terribly optimistic about it. The company might make up a few million sales, but gamers seem to have largely decided on this generation, and the decision decisively points to Sony. It’s too bad that we don’t have sales figures from Microsoft, because actual hard data from the manufacturer would help show whether or not the Xbox One X actually expanded into new markets or reached new consumers, or if both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X just recycled the same consumers they had already attracted. That’d be significant for knowing whether or not manufacturers will repeat these kinds of upgrade cycles in the future. The Xbox One X is the most powerful console you can buy for the money and an arguably better value than a PC for gaming depending on how invested you are in the Xbox One ecosystem and whether or not you have a 4K HDR TV. It’s also unambiguously the most powerful game console you can buy.
It’d be darned interesting to know if the Xbox One X cut into any new markets or brought new customers into the Xbox fold. Until Microsoft releases formal numbers, we never will.
Now read: The Best Free Xbox One Games, The Best Xbox One X-Enhanced Games for $ 20 or Less, or Sony PS4 Poised to Pass PS3 Lifetime Sales, Switch Breaks 20 Million Units.
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