Since 2015, Microsoft has been keeping quiet about its hardware sales numbers. However, after recent statements from EA, sales figures for Xbox One might now be out in the open.
In a recent earnings call, EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen revealed Microsoft had sold close to 30 million Xbox One consoles by the end of 2017, with Sony’s PlayStation 4 eclipsing those numbers by more than half at 73 million units sold in the same timeframe.
If that seems like an odd thing for a publisher to announce, that’s because EA didn’t say it in such direct terms. While Jorgensen didn’t provide the exact sales numbers for the two consoles, he did give enough information to identify each of the platform’s sales through to the end of last year. Here’s exactly what he said:
Turning our expectations for fiscal 2019, we expect sales of current-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony to continue to be strong, with the installed base growing to 130 million consoles by the end of calendar 2018 from 103 million at the end of calendar 2017.
Using Jorgensen’s numbers, we can subtract Sony’s sales figures for its flagship console from the quoted 103 million total. In January 2017, Sony announced PlayStation 4 had sold a total of 53.4 million units, with the final total sales for the year being 73.6 million consoles. After subtracting that final number from 103 million, that would mean the remaining amount would be 29.4 million Xbox One units sold by the end of last year.
Microsoft hasn’t released any any sales numbers for Xbox One, and with its recent attempts to prove its success outside of hardware sales, the company may never confirm or deny the accuracy of Jorgensen’s statement. The possible reveal comes a few days after Microsoft reiterated its decision to measure success by consumer engagement rather than hardware sales.
While the numbers are disappointing, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be letting poor sales stop it from forging new paths for Xbox One. After last year’s lackluster E3 press conference, where the Xbox One X took up most of the show, the company has promised the 2018 ceremony will provide “positive changes.” In addition, a recent job posting suggested Microsoft might be looking to finally expand its library of first-party titles to compete with Nintendo and Sony’s wide variety of exclusive games.