Microsoft Has Reportedly Sold Just 21 Million Xbox Series X and S Consoles

Apparently, there have been over 21 million Xbox Series X and Series S consoles sold by Microsoft, since launch. A slide reported to have been shared by Microsoft, at the ID@Xbox Developer Accelerator Program in Brazil, has provided this number. That is a lot of consoles, but the number isn’t quite as impressive when compared to the sales numbers from console rivals Sony and Nintendo.  

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Microsoft has been tight-lipped regarding sales figures for Xbox consoles for nearly a decade. It has been speculated that management decided to hide console unit sales by getting its accountants to publicly weigh Microsoft’s Xbox business in terms of Xbox Live and Game Pass subscriptions. This provides optics than showing the Xbox console unit numbers obviously lagging rivals.

Another revelation concerns the numbers of Xbox One family consoles sold in their lifetime. Remember, it has been so long since we saw Xbox hardware unit sales from Microsoft that it extends to the previous generation. Doing some trivial math, we see that there were 58 million Xbox One consoles sold during its era. Clearly, the Xbox Series X / S still have a long way to go to reach such numbers. To get a good handle on this data, we think a chart is called for.

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Platform

Launch date

Units sold (m)

Xbox One

Nov 2013

58

Xbox Series X / S

Nov 2020

21

Sony PS4

Nov 2013

117.2

Sony PS5

Nov 2020

38.4

Nintendo Switch

Mar 2017

125.6

Note that with the figures above we have tried to source the latest official totals. You can see the Xbox figures that have come from the headlining Microsoft slide at the top. The latest PlayStation 5 and Switch console hardware sales figures come from numbers shared this March, so will be a little out of date by now.

One other interesting morsel from the Microsoft slide concerns the cheaper Xbox Series S. At launch, we contrasted Microsoft’s strategy of launching the Series S with Sony’s. The slide’s assertion that 48% of Series S players are new to Xbox paints it as quite a success. That is a good conversion figure, and that console’s pricing takes it much further into the impulse buying zone than its bigger brother (or Sony’s consoles).

In the current battle royale between the Xbox Series and Sony PS5 consoles, it looks likely that Sony could pull ahead a bit more. Sony was particularly badly affected during the peak pandemic years, with the chip crunch and big stay-at-home demand. However, that period appears to be behind us now and Sony is predicting another 19 million PS5 consoles will be sold by its financial year end (March 31, 2024).

Healthy PC Gaming Market

Last but not least, another slide from the ID@Xbox Developer Accelerator Program showed some figures for PC gaming. Yes, PCs continue to be a hugely important gaming market with “248.6m active Windows gaming PCs,” according to Microsoft.

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