Microsoft Has “Sold In” 1.2 Million Xbox Ones So Far In 2014

In Microsoft’s latest financial report, which addressed the fiscal quarter between January 1st and March 31st 2014, there was some important news on the state of Microsoft’s Xbox business, alongside reports from all their other divisions. Though there is good news for their Devices and Consumer Hardware business overall, with year-on-year increases in overall revenue, things aren’t quite so rosy when put into a grander perspective.

Diving into the figures, the department’s revenue jumped from $1.4 billion to $1.9 billion, compared to the same time last year, but with Xbox One sales a large part of this increase, the higher hardware costs associated with the newer and more expensive console meant that the gross margin actually fell from $393 million to $258 million. Of course, that is to be expected at this stage in the console’s life and profit margins will increase over time as the cost of hardware is reduced.

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Update: The figures reported were of consoles “sold in” to retailers as opposed to being sold through to customers. This subtle distinction makes conclusions about sales figures more difficult to make, but the rest of the article has been amended to indicate that figures are not exact.


This increased revenue came off the back of 1.2 million Xbox Ones and 800,000 Xbox 360s being “sold in” to retailers. Adding this to the 3 million Xbox One sales to customers that Microsoft announced had occured by the end of 2013 and making the assumption that retailers would try to avoid oversaturating their supply chain, indicates that there are around 4 million Xbox Ones in people’s homes. However, considering that Microsoft stated just last week that 5 million consoles had been shipped in total, there is a degree of supply outstripping demand at this point in time, something that is only reinforced by UK retailers regularly cutting their prices for the machine.

These figures compare poorly to Sony’s performance with the PlayStation 4, which has sold 7 million units as of last week. They already held an advantage at the end of 2013, with 4.2 million sold last year, but the launch of the console in more markets – most notably Japan – and strong demand across the board has seen them adding 2.8 million consoles to that number, more than doubling the sales of Xbox One in the same period and widening the gap between the two.

While the Xbox One’s sales are still quite healthy, the defecit to the PS4 will heap pressure on Microsoft for a strong showing at E3 in June and during the second half of this year, to announce and release more games from their stable of major franchises. It also wouldn’t be all that surprising to see a new SKU released that omits the Kinect camera from the box and lowers the price of the console further.

Update: To put this into perspective slightly, the Xbox 360, without a direct same generation competitor, had shipped 1.7 million consoles in its own second quarter on the market in 2006. This put it at 3.2 million total sales, as Microsoft later aimed to have sold 10 million consoles by the end of the year.

Sources: MCVUK, Gamasutra, Microsoft, Joystiq of 2006

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28 Comments

  1. I would just like to add that the title is false, Microsoft has sold-in to retailers 1.2 million Xbox One’s, not sold to consumers.

    • Yes, you’re right. Such a fine line and a distinction missed along the way. I’ve amended the article to reflect this as best it could.

  2. I’ve also just read something about them scaling back production, since market “is saturated”. i.e. they’re all sitting on shelves with no-one buying.

    • *the market

    • Yeah they’ve shipped in total 5.1 million Xbox One’s from launch to present but that is not total sales, that’s just shipped out to retailers. Around 800k, maybe more are still on the shelves.

    • There is a definite issue with sales. Actually saw one online, new for £300 yesterday. Plenty more out there being heavily discounted and people still seem to be going for the PS4.

      Don’t think it’s quite that bad, but it is very reminiscent of Sega and the Dreamcast.

  3. Has it launched in all territories yet?

    • Not yet, it’s launching in Japan in September with Sunset Overdrive but given how apathetic the Japanese market were to the Xbox 360 I wouldn’t bank on it being a large impact to worldwide sales for the Xbox One.

  4. They’ve sold a good amount in fairness but it’s looking poor in comparison to PS4.

    Just out of curiosity i wonder how well the PS3 is selling these days.

    • Very well, comparable to the vita and Wii U.

      • Cool, although i probably should have said i meant in comparison to 360.

  5. 4 million consoles in 5 months is actually quite good, but of course that sounds bad compared to Sony’s 7 million.

    Is Halo still confirmed for this year? Neither of the new-gen consoles have that ‘killer’ exclusive yet, but I reckon Halo will easily shift quite a few consoles.

    • If it’s not bad, then the console industry has grown hugely since the last generation.

      Although, put into context with Apples 20m+ iPhones sold in the same period… makes you think.

      Halo is much more of a system seller than, say, Titanfall. It has pedigree and is actually exclusive.

      • The thing is that iPhones and smart phones are multipurpose devices that can tackle a huge variety of tasks and are now seen as near essential to many people’s daily routine. Additionally, they are usually sold on contract which distributes the cost over months and years.

        Meanwhile, games consoles are purely recreational devices with a primary focus on gaming. If you have no interest in gaming, then there’s basically no reason to buy a games console and even if you are, it’s only if you have the full cost of the machine readily available and it is an investment for the length of the console generation.

        As two vastly different business models, they’re bordering on the incomparable.

      • I can’t see halo 5 being as big as halo 3 judging by how busy the servers are.

      • Should point out servers for halo 4 are in comparison to halo 3 and reach.

      • @Stefan CI completely agree, like I said though, makes you think.

        Tried to type something about how console games only appeal to a certain audience action/scifi/sports rather than soaps/reality tv, but couldn’t make anything coherent, never mind short.

        [email protected] Inferior, Halo is still halo at the end of the day, will sell buckets. Probably won’t be as good due to franchise fatigue and Bungie no longer weaving the magic, but 343i deserve a chance.

        Microsoft probably care little if the online multiplayer is dead after a year, in fact, it could be good for them economically.

      • For me and the people I played with on halo 3 and reach, halo 4 multiplayer felt too much like cod. I don’t like cod so this was a deal breaker for me, but for some who did like cod. They felt blops2 was more fun.

      • A friend I know who is a big Halo fan said the same thing.

        If anything, the new Halo will be even more like CoD as they announced it will be at 60fps, more twitchy than the usual 30fps.

  6. I really cant see them removing Kinect and I think it’s a bad decision if they do. It’s pretty much common knowledge by now that the PS4 is the more powerful console of the two and multi-platform games generally look and play better on PS4. If MS ditch Kinect, they’ll need to have some pretty phenomenal exclusives lined up if they want to catch up to PS4 because that’s the only benefit they’ll have. At this point I don’t think it’s even possible for them to catch up. Sony will have their own exclusives in the works and they’ll probably look better than anything on XBO because of the power difference. Add to that better looking multi-plats, indie support and a much larger userbase and MS really have their work cut out for them. Then there’s the fact that services such as netflix aren’t locked behind a paywall on PS4 so you aren’t forced to subscribe to an online service like you are on XBO. And if you do decide to pay for online, you get a much better deal with PS+ because you get free games every month and 3 million more buddies to play with. Not saying XBO is a bad console but these figures are very telling. PS4 may be available in more markets than XBO which will account for part of that sales gap. But PS4 is still outselling XBO in it’s strongest markets (US/UK) by a large amount (even with the release of Titanfall) which everyone thought would be a system seller. Best of luck to MS. I think they’re going to need it.

    • It’s really surprising that they haven’t brought out a killer app yet to qualify the inclusion of Kinect 2, so far it just seems to be a cool but expensive remote control. If they remove Kinect before they’ve provided a compelling reason to own one, that possibly won’t go down too well with many existing XB1 owners.
      What will also be interesting to see is how much the Kinect 2, or indeed the XB1 would sell for on it’s own (taking into account that they said Kinect 2 cost almost as much to make as the XB1). If that part is true then a solo XB1 could work out significantly cheaper than a PS4, but buying a Kinect 2 seperately could work out prohibitively expensive.

      • Kinect costs $75 according to teardowns.

        I’ve said before, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

        They can keep Kinect and keep the price cut as it is, albeit ‘unofficially’. Lose money, no guarantee that it will turn things around.

        They can drop Kinect and not lose money. Potential backlash from customers and some developers. I for one would be happier to buy an X1 knowing I’m not paying ~£50 extra for an accessory that I’m not keen on.

        Extreme case: Drop Kinect AND drop price even more (below £300 mark). Probably will get the most sales from this but is it worth the cost? Probably.

      • Only $75? I must have misread it then, they must have been referring to the development cost in the article i read, not the production cost.

        GM Motors certainly made a decision because they speculated it would cost them far less in the end than they could potentially reap. Thankfully the passion surrounding Kinect isn’t quite as explosive as what GM Motors were playing with. :)

      • No, you’re probably right, the $75 cost is per console for materials and manufacturing, i’m sure Kinect guzzled millions in development costs.

      • Maybe it would have been more beneficial for them to release the XBO without Kinect initially? Wait a year or two for the manufacturing costs to come down and then bundle the XBO with a mandatory Kinect. Hopefully by then there would be a reason to own it. It seems odd that they would include such an expensive accessory at launch with no games and no real use other than voice commands. I do agree with beeje that they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t but they only have themselves to blame. Did they even do any market research?

      • Also, you can pick up the Titanfall bundle for a very reasonable £320 at the minute. That’s a great price for the XBO with Kinect and a game. I’m not sure how cheap they need to get before people think they’re worth it.

      • Kinect was Don Mattrick’s wonder vision. He’s not there now, tellingly. Phil Spencer seems much more real so Kinect could go as soon as E3 I think.

        I felt kind of sick when I saw Mattrick giving an interview, responding to the bad reaction to the X1, he said something like “Don’t worry, we’ve done market research, it will be a success”.

        Talk about living in cuckoo land.

  7. The best part about this whole story is that they have yet to release in a number of countries like here, the Netherlands. Last time I was at MediaMarkt (electronics store) there were 20 or 30 XBONE’s stacked in a pile (German import) collecting dust. I bet their release in other countries will be a great sucess :-(

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