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Microsoft famously stopped reporting sales numbers for its Xbox One, but it recently admitted that the PlayStation 4 outsold it by a wide margin.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

August 15, 2022

2 Min Read
Promo picture for the Xbox One S, from the Microsoft Store listing.

According to Microsoft, the sales of its Xbox One console were significantly behind that of Sony's PlayStation 4. In a series of Portuguese court documents given to Brazil's national regulator first spotted (and translated) by Game Luster, the Xbox maker said Sony's console sales far eclipsed its own. 

For its acquisition with Activision Blizzard to go through, Microsoft must gain the approval from regulators around the world. To gain approval from Brazil's regulator, Microsoft had to make its case to the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE). In its court documents dating back to August 9, Microsoft said that Sony "has surpassed Microsoft in terms of console sales and installed base, having sold more than twice as many Xbox in the last generation."

Microsoft stopped reporting sales numbers on its video game consoles back in 2015, during which it acknowledged that the PS4 had a "huge lead" over its console. While the company has been more focused on giving out numbers for its Xbox Game Pass subscribers, the exact number of Xbox Ones sold has been a mystery for years. 

Sony recently stopped reporting sales numbers for PS4 consoles, leaving the final total number of sales at 117.2 million as of this past March. (That said, it's continuing to make PS4s in order to make up for the PlayStation 5 shortage.) In the same timeframe, the Xbox One would have to have sold less than 58.5 million units.

The Xbox One released a week after the PS4 in 2013, but suffered from a streak of bad PR in regards to its launch price ($499), and initial plans to require an internet connection to play offline games, limitations on used games, and a 24-hour connection requirement. Those plans were later reversed, and implemented into the console via a day one patch. 

In 2020, analysts predicted that the Xbox One sold 51 million sales across its various iterations-the base Xbox One, plus the Xbox One S, Xbox One X, and Xbox One S All-Digital. That same year, Microsoft quietly stopped manufacturing Xbox One consoles, instead putting all its attention on the then-incoming Xbox Series X | S, which currently stands as the best-selling Xbox generation. 

Earlier in the month, Sony expressed its worry that Microsoft's incoming acquisition of Activision would be used to dictate sales, particularly for the Call of Duty franchise. "CoD's network of loyal users is so ingrained," said Sony. "It's synonymous with first-person shooters and essentially defines that category."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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