Microsoft, which is not in the habit of directly disclosing sales numbers, has so far managed to sell 18 million Xbox One units, according to a new report.
The said figure for Xbox One consoles sold sparked rumors of it reaching only half of PlayStation 4 sales, which recently touched the 36-million mark.
The report came from Microsoft analyst Mary Jo Foley through the latest episode of the "Windows Weekly" podcast. She revealed that the number is part of the breakdown of the 200 million Windows devices around the world that are now running Windows 10.
Sans an official statement from Microsoft, one can only speculate if the figure is indeed true.
An issue at hand is that there may be users who have not made their Xbox One “active” in the past 28 days, although it is likely that the majority of console users would already be included in Foley’s revealed estimate.
Xbox One made strides in sales over the course of last year because of the new software as well as the launch of Xbox 360 backward compatibility, which the company hoped would sell millions of new consoles.
The Microsoft console even outsmarted PS4 in certain respects, such as the launch of Halo 5 that propelled it to the top spot of the sales race back in October.
But has Microsoft done a good enough job to shrink the significant sales gap?
At a 2015 Geekwire Summit panel interview in October, Xbox head Phil Spencer admitted the huge lead of the PS4 over the Xbox One and was uncertain as to when they can overcome the lead.
“You can go into some of the specific features, for me, what we fundamentally lost was the trust of our most loyal customers. Whether it’s always on, used games, whatever the feature was, we lost the trust in them that they were at the center of our decision-making process,” Spencer explained.
He added that he feels “really good” about the current position of Xbox One and the brand, although the point for them may no longer be about market share and sales, but gaining gamers’ trust back.
Spencer also cited “apathy” – not Sony – as their biggest competitor, pinpointing their quality focus on games such as Halo 5 and Minecraft and how it can earn them brand loyalists.
Days ago, Microsoft released a new Xbox One system update – no new features, but with fixes for a couple of "behind the scenes" bugs.
Sony’s Dominance Remains
From the looks of it, however, Sony will remain dominant in the market as it manages to keep a tight grip on gaming console sales. PS4 appears to be a bigger hit in most months of the year, topping sales records in September and November (also the biggest month ever for the digital sales of the PlayStation Store).
Just this week, Sony announced that of the 36 million PS4 units sold in the product’s lifetime, 5.7 million were purchased over the holiday season alone.
As an aside, Electronic Arts chief finance officer Blake Jorgensen forecasted that both the Xbox One and the PS4 will cumulatively hit 51 million in sales by the end of 2015, which appears to be a close, if not exact, estimate.
It’s a long and tough road ahead for the Microsoft gaming console, but as the Xbox chief himself said: it’s no longer just about winning, but gaining lost confidence back.
Photo: Marco Verch | Flickr