Xbox One has sold quite well, recently reaching 26 million units sold since its launch in November 2013, according to a report by SuperData. Microsoft stopped reporting console sales in 2015, but the data seems to be relatively accurate. SuperData's report was to see how well the Nintendo #Switch would enter into the console market.
While the Xbox One's sales seemed to have tapered off against the rival PS4, it's still staying ahead of the previous Xbox 360.
#PlayStation4, on the other hand, is up to 53.4 million units sold since its release one week before Xbox One, though slightly under SuperData's estimation of 55 million. Though the sales reports look large, the difference may actually be less. PS4 sales don't exclude users who simply upgraded from a PS4 to a PlayStation Pro, effectively double dipping. Regional differences matter as well. Xbox One completely floundered in Japan, barely hitting 24,000 units in its first week, far below the Xbox 360's 62,000 sold. Whereas the PS4 sold 322,000 units in just the first two days, even beating Nintendo for the first time in 8 years.
The PS4 also dominated the 2016 holiday season in December with 6 million units sold. The Xbox One, however, was the top-selling console in the latter half of 2016, likely due to the Xbox One S release in August.
In a moment of prescience, EA's CFO Blake Jorgensen predicted during a financial call that 80 million total PS4 and Xbox units would be sold by the end of 2016, ultimately reaching 100 million by the end of 2017.
In The End, It Doesn't Even Matter
Console sales don't always line up with the active userbase. Microsoft's reasoning for no longer reporting on console sales was along the same lines: since console sales will only go up, despite units sitting away in closets collecting dust, active users are more accurate for gauging the health and longevity. As of September 30, Microsoft reported that it had 47 million monthly active Xbox Live users across Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC. This was up from 39 million the year before.
Ubisoft's 2015 sales report also indicated that Xbox One owners spend more per user than PS4 owners, though PS4 makes more money overall because, well, 53 million. Based on the ratio of units sold, the PS4 market should have been 88% larger than Xbox One, but in reality it was only 52%. Ubisoft reported an average of $8.93 per Xbox One user vs $7.22 per PS4 user.
When it comes to the game market, the console sales numbers also become insignificant. With the exception of the occasional exclusivity deal, most publishers will opt to publish games for both markets, since 80 million potential customers is much better than only 53 million.
The caveat is more limited markets: smaller indie companies will continue to focus on the larger userbase, due to financial limitations with porting, and Japanese developers will obviously focus on the regionally popular PS4.
Now, the market could shift toward PS4 exclusivity if the gap only becomes wider. If PS4 sales were to rise, and Xbox sales fall, then we might see more publishers leaving to the larger one. But, as it is, the market isn't too different and there is still a very large following for Xbox, especially with newer models coming out.
Xbox sales may soon rise again, as Microsoft is set to release the latest "Project Scorpio" Xbox this coming holiday season, calling it “the most powerful console ever built.” It also has 6 Teraflops of power, in case you hadn't yet met your ridiculous word of the day quota.
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