Xbox One sold less than half of the PS4 throughout its lifetime, Microsoft has confirmed. Court documents from the ongoing Microsoft-CADE trial have revealed details on how well the Xbox One units sold. The company currently acquiring Activision Blizzard has refused to release console sales information since 2015, instead focusing on Xbox Live numbers. “Sony has surpassed Microsoft in terms of console sales and installed base, having sold more than twice as many Xbox in the last generation,” admits Microsoft, as translated from Portuguese by The Verge.
The Xbox One launched in 2013 with a key focus on the multimedia department, alongside the Kinect feature. The decision set the console back a bit, as its rival, PlayStation 4 focused wholly on video games and its community. That paid off better for the Japanese giant. Microsoft eventually shifted focus to games as well.
While Microsoft stopped reporting sales numbers by 2016, Sony recently announced that it will not be releasing sales numbers for the PS4 anymore. The last reported figure sits at 117.2 million, as of March. Going by Microsoft court documents, this would put Xbox One’s lifetime sales at a value of fewer than 58.6 million units. The PS4, on the other hand, is the fourth best-selling console of all time, behind the Game Boy, Nintendo DS, and Sony’s own PlayStation 2.
The last recorded sale numbers for Xbox One were in 2015, sitting at an estimate of 51 million. The news comes in the wake of Microsoft’s ongoing trial against CADE, the Brazilian competition authority. Turns out, Microsoft’s $70 billion (about Rs. 5,55,467 crore) acquisition of Activision Blizzard is currently being scrutinised by regulators globally. According to GamesIndustry.biz, the deal is “massive,” and could not only have an impact on the buyer, but the entire games industry, including indie developers, businesses, and consumers.
“Regulatory bodies exist to try and make sure such deals don’t result in any antitrust issues, where one company can become overly dominant, or competition is harmed in such a way that it could lead to fewer choices, higher prices and/or less innovation,” it reads.
Microsoft will require approval from three big regulatory bodies to complete the buy-out. First, the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) — its review process has begun and entered phase two. Second is the UK’s CMA (Competition and Markets Authority), which is currently in the first phase of review and is expected to end in early September. The third and final main regulator standing between Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is the European Commission — the process has not started yet.
The CMA had previously ordered Microsoft to provide “better upfront information” for their online gaming services, such as Xbox Game Pass. The UK regulator was concerned about the ease of access features that allow users to easily sign up for a service, but never details the specifics of a cancellation process. This obscure detailing leads to cases where a customer entirely forgets about the subscription, but continues getting charged for the service without realising it.
Microsoft was directed to contact all their existing customers on recurring 12-month contracts, and give them the option to cancel it and claim a proportional refund. Inactive subscribers will be contacted as well, and reminded of how to stop payments. Furthermore, any price hikes were also to be notified clearly.