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Xbox Series X|S is now the best-selling Xbox generation

Xbox boss Phil Spencer's point about console demand was also a bit of a humblebrag.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

January 10, 2022

2 Min Read
Photo by Billy Freeman via Unsplash

Microsoft still isn't ready to tell us how many Xbox Series X|S units it's sold just yet, but according to an interview with vice president of Xbox Phil Spencer, it's a lot. More in fact, than any other generation of Xbox to date at the same period after launch.

That little statistic tidbit comes from an interview Spencer did with New York Times podcast Sway, where he gave a number of insights about Xbox's operations that might be unfamiliar to those outside the video game industry. 

While discussing the explosive demand for video game consoles in the last two years, Spencer gave some useful context about how well the Xbox Series X|S units are selling. "At this point, we’ve sold more of this generation of Xboxes, which is Xbox Series X and S, than we had any previous version of Xboxes," Spencer explained to host Kara Swisher. 

Spencer also claimed that for console production, "supply is as big as it's ever been," implying that the recent struggles to acquire both an Xbox Series X|S or PlayStation 5 are partly due to outsized demand compared to prior generations.

There's probably a lot of context to consider with those numbers. For one, prior Xbox generations at this time period were only selling one kind of Xbox, whereas Microsoft now has the all-digital Xbox Series S and the disc drive-laden Xbox Series X. Secondly, Spencer himself notes that console purchases were shooting up even before the Xbox Series S releases thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders. 

In April and May of 2020, he says the company was selling out of consoles as the world navigated the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We sold out of consoles, which we never do, in April and May. Because you had this sudden swell of usage," he explained.

Given that Microsoft hasn't been sharing total console sales in its recent quarterly financial reports, this is some helpful context for how Microsoft's console business is doing, even though it seems to be shifting its eye toward Game Pass subscribers over console sales. 

And of course if Microsoft is doing this well with the Xbox Series X|S, it's probably deductible that Sony is seeing similar patterns given how the PlayStation 5 has remained outrageously popular (and difficult to find) over the last year.

You can find more commentary from Spencer on Microsoft's operations right here.

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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