Microsoft Says Xbox One Sales ‘Doubled’ in June, But PS4 Still Wins
The month after Microsoft finally cut loose the Kinect 2.0 from its Xbox One and lowered the price by $100 to $399, the tech giant is claiming month-over-month sales have “more than doubled” for its console.
Microsoft made the claim Wednesday in a blog post on its website in regards to June sales versus May sales, but don’t expect that information to actually be useful in determining the success of the Xbox One — because while Microsoft was happy to tell us that Xbox One sales are up in the best-sounding terms possible, it failed to actually release any tangible numbers.
Even more interesting is that market research group NPD announced Thursday that Sony’s Playstation 4 had outsold the Xbox One for the sixth month in a row in June, as TNW reports, suggesting that Microsoft’s “more than double” sales in June still weren’t enough to outpace Sony’s console.
Still, finally cutting the Kinect anchor seems to have been a positive move for Microsoft. CNET’s Ian Sherr reported Microsoft said the Xbox One and Xbox 360 “combined sold the most games across all console platforms,” which, admittedly, is another nebulous spin-statement, but like the doubling at least suggests positive motion for Xbox.
It seems like it needs it, too, since Microsoft announced earlier this week that along with gutting the recently acquired Nokia, it’s also shuttering Xbox Entertainment Studios in the 18,000 layoffs coming to the corporation. That means the vast majority of original Xbox TV content Microsoft had planned and talked about will go with it — although not the Halo TV show, as Time reported. It also supposedly won’t have any affect on Quantum Break, Remedy’s upcoming Xbox One game that also has a TV show component, Polygon reported.
One assumes Microsoft’s chucking of Xbox Entertainment Studios is another move to realign the console to appeal to its core audience in response to the beating it seems to have taken in the first months of the new console war. It’s the latest change in a long line of Microsoft adjustments that include losing the Kinect, dropping the console’s always-online requirement, allowing for disc-based lending between players, and a host of other reversals.
The Xbox One price cut puts it on even footing with the Playstation 4 at $399, and we’re likely to see more powerful effects on Xbox One sales later this year, after the drought of summertime ends with the torrential flood of triple-A titles primed to overwhelm us all in October. When that happens, I’d wager we might see lots of new generation console sales — namely because there will finally be games to play on them — and with no price disparity between Xbox and Playstation, holdouts who haven’t committed one way or the other might gravitate back to the Microsoft camp out of Xbox 360 brand loyalty.
That’s just idle speculation, though, since with all Microsoft’s changes, it also has created a situation in which its console has lost a lot of its uniqueness along the way. Xbox’s potential with transmedia and TV offerings was an element that could have made the console pretty interesting, and with it goes yet another item off the list of Xbox One features.
It all makes for a fascinating experiment in marketing and console development, one that won’t truly come to fruition until both Microsoft and Sony’s consoles are a little more mature. With games that can actually fill out the consoles’ libraries hitting in earnest this holiday season, but a diminishing list of reasons to choose one console specifically over another, one wonders what we’ll learn about the consoles and their makers in this generation — and what Microsoft and Sony will take away as lessons one the dust finally settles.
Hopefully the big lesson they learn won’t be “just recycle the last console with more particles.”
Feel free to weigh in with your impressions in the comments.