We now have a clear idea of how many Xbox One consoles Microsoft sold during its lifetime and that Sony got “twice as many” into homes before it called time on production.
The news arrives courtesy of court documents filed during Microsoft’s ongoing legal battle with CADE, Brazil’s competition authority. The reason for the filings is that Microsoft is currently attempting to defend its historically expensive acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
The news was initially spotted by GameLuster and reported on Eurogamer. Page 18, paragraph 46 of the court filing states (and understand this translation is brought to you via Google Translate), “Sony has surpassed Microsoft in terms of console sales and install base, having sold more than twice as many (than) Xbox in the last generation.”
Microsoft, rather famously, stopped reporting on Xbox One sales figures in 2015. The decision to cease reporting sales data came after an abortive launch and confirmation that Sony’s PlayStation 4 was leaving it behind.
Sony confirmed in January that it had sold more than 116 million PS4 consoles. However, it recently updated that stat to 117.2 million in total lifetime sales, putting it behind only the PS2’s record-setting 155 million units sold. If the claims in the Brazilian court documents are to be believed, the Xbox One landed well south of that figure, coming in between 50 and 60 million units sold.
Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad backed up these numbers.
Sony is no longer reporting PS4 shipments which means the final total for the console is ~117.2 million as of March 2022. pic.twitter.com/hWHv7NZ6RL
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) August 10, 2022
The papers also gave some insight into what Microsoft considers Xbox’s current market position. As you might assume, Xbox’s position is that it wants to promote its Xbox Game Pass platform over directly competing with Sony on hardware. In its own words, Xbox has made the decision to “move away from a strategy of ‘device-centric’ business towards a more consumer-centric” or “gamer-centric” platform, like Game Pass.
Further, it dismisses Sony’s concerns that the “inclusion of Activision Blizzard content in the Xbox Game Pass catalog would represent a ‘tipping point’ in the market”.
So, there you go. After years of lampshading the Xbox One’s final tally, we finally have a clear picture of how many units it actually sold. Another weird gaming mystery solved by totally unrelated court proceedings.