Xbone Sells Five Million Units…
…Through to retail! Five million units shipped, if you will. Yet more consoles flooding Microsoft’s backed-up supply chain in service of BS PR claims such as Yusuf Mehdi’s assertion:
“We’re also happy to share today that more than 5 million Xbox One consoles have been sold-in to retailers since our launch.”
As reality would have it VG Chartz has put Xbone sales at the decidedly lower 4.3 million units sold, as of the twelth of April, which cuts a decidedly less dynamic picture – especially considering that Microsoft’s official sold-through figure [that is sold through to the consumer, not retail channels] for the Xbone was three million units sold at the end of 2013. By contrast Sony had a sold-through figure of 4.2 million PS4 units at the end of 2013, while just this week they have announced that over seven million PS4’s have been sold to consumers.
What this means is that assuming VG Chartz’ numbers are reasonably accurate, then throughout 2014 the PS4 has continued to outsell the Xbone by a ratio significantly better than 2:1. It would seem that the PS4 simply offers twice the allure to the average consumer, just as consoles sold through to the consumer are worth doubly those left clogging up retail channels. The comparisons are not all dire for the Xbone however, as Microsoft points out that by this point in the Xbox 360’s life it was being outperformed by current Xbone sales to the tune of sixty percent. However, the obvious counterpoint to that is that the 360’s sales were never really all that brisk in its first year. By the time that the PS3 arrived on the scene a full year later the 360 had only managed to accrue a lead of somewhere between two and three million units – the approximate lead that the PS4 has already established against the Xbone in five month of head-to-head competition.
PSA: Avoid Rubbish ‘Journalism’
Another interesting point of comparison has been doing the rounds during the week, this time between the Wii U and Sega’s ill-fated Dreamcast, suggests that Nintendo’s console has been performing half as well as Sega’s final hardware release. The story appears to have derived from a Tweet sent out by MCV editor, Ben Parfitt, and was then picked up by other editorials and forum posts:
“The Wii U is now as old as the Dreamcast was when it was killed off. It has sold around half the number Dreamcast had by this point.”
This notion is honestly a fairly palatable one, and would usually make for the kind of story that this author would pick up and run with, were it not for the fact that it is blatantly untrue. The Wii U launched in late November of 2012, meaning that it has been on the market for roughly fifteen months. On the other hand, the Dreamcast’s Japanese launch took place during late November of 1998, while it was discontinued at the end of March 2001, giving it an official retail life of twenty-eight months. Even if commentators wished to dismiss the Dreamcast’s early start in Japan [which would be foolish] in favour of measuring the console’s life from the famous 9/9/99 American launch date, then the Dreamcast would have still been on the market for nineteen months before the point at which it was discontinued. The moral of this story is to beware bad journalism which attempts to relay that which one wants to believe. Given nineteen months at present sales the Wii U will likely sell about two-thirds of the Dreamcast’s LTD numbers, while at twenty-eight months it will likely equal them.
North American March NPD Numbers Prove Interesting
The Xbone might be a little down on its luck in terms of the big picture console sales figures, but surely, if nothing else, the Month of March was its time to shine. Microsoft enacted a massive coup when they secured for themselves the console exclusivity of derped-out bro-shooter, Titanfall, so obviously March was the designated time at which the Xbone would hit its stride and hold its own against the PS4, if only for a small while. Only none of that has occurred. Sure, the Xbone version of Titanfall did win the Month of March, if only just, in terms of software sales, yet despite selling 311,000 Xbones Microsoft still lost console sales to Sony’s PS4. This is particularly relevant being America, seeing as that is the market in which Microsoft is most competitive – expect Titanfall to have had much less of an impact elsewhere in the world.
As previously alluded to, Titanfall‘s sales on the Xbone were solid but not spectacular, launching on the eleventh of March it has managed to sell 1.35 million copies by the fifth of April. By contrast Infamous: Second Son launched on the twenty-first of March, and was able to sell 1.03 million copies by the fifth of April. Titanfall is definitely the better performing game, especially considering the drastically smaller Xbone installbase, yet we are still to see Microsoft’s money-hatting investment in the title pay off in any really tangible way – but then the Xbone’s launch period seems to have played host to so many bad or lackluster investments. TV, Kinect, DDR3 RAM, a DRM platform; nothing has seemed to work out the way that Microsoft envisioned. Lusipurr.com readers may remember the Xbox store that Microsoft set up in partnership with GAME in the heart of London, and may not be at all surprise to learn that it has this week being shuttered – another bad investment, no doubt. March saw Titanfall included as a pack-in game and the price of the Xbone lowered to $450, essentially making it the same price as a PS4 with a full-price game. If the Xbone cannot be competitive under these circumstances, then it is difficult to imagine what Microsoft could possibly do to ever keep up with Sony’s console.
More broadly speaking, the software sales of March demonstrate a year-on-year drop of twenty-eight percent, which is not surprising given 2013 heavy hitters like Bioshock Infinite. By contrast hardware sales are up by seventy-eight percent, buoyed by the release of new consoles, most prominently the PS4. On the whole sales in the American market were up three percent year-on-year for the month of March, to the tune of 1.03 billion dollars. In terms of the top-ten best performing titles, games that Lusi readers may be pleased to note are South Park: The Stick of Truth in third place, Dark Souls II in fifth place, and the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster coming in at eighth place. Unfortunately, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes took sixth place on the chart, so we can probably expect more demos to be priced as full games going forward.