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Microsoft Xbox One Reportedly Tops 20 Million Units Sold Worldwide, Still Trailing PS4

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Microsoft is very discrete when it comes to official sales figures of its gaming consoles, but recent estimates show that more than 20 million Xbox Ones were sold.

According to observant watchers at VGChartz, the Xbox One selling record happened on Feb. 13, 2016. The report indicates that exactly 20,067,310 units were sold.

When it comes to games, the number ranks much higher. Global players bought no less than 116,833,042 games for Xbox One. It should be mentioned that this counts only retail gaming purchases, so the figure could be higher when adding the digital downloads.

VGChartz names Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 the highest selling game of Microsoft's ecosystem. Not far behind sits Advanced Warfare, with a bit more than 5 million copies. Among the five most popular Xbox One games, we also count Grand Theft Auto V, Halo 5: Guardians and Fallout 4.

The number estimated by VGChartz comes close to Electronic Arts' statement. EA has announced to the media that the Xbox One and PS4 consoles sold about 60 million units put together.

Sony, which usually reports in detail the number of consoles it sends to its customers, said earlier this year that PlayStation 4 sales reached 36 million in January.

Putting two and two together, we can assume that 40 million PS4 consoles reached their owners, while the Xbox One only checked half of the sum.

There is a good reason why Xbox One chooses to keep mum about the number of sold consoles.

Microsoft takes a different approach than Sony and prefers to count the number of monthly active users (MAUs) it amasses on Windows and Xbox Live.

Phil Spencer, the head of the Xbox One division, explains what advantages this strategy entails.

"Our partners and gamers, they want the largest collection of active gamers who are buying and playing games," he says.

Spencer says that counting a console sold two years ago, which sees zero activity and is only gathering dust, is a poor way to gauge the performance of a company. MAUs, in return, can give a pretty good idea of how engaging the ecosystem is and how many gamers you are actually catering to.

In January this year, Xbox One scored 48 million monthly active users.

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