Microsoft Won't Tell You Console Sales Numbers and Here's Why

As Xbox's CFO Tim Stuart said, relying on unit sales numbers doesn't give you an understanding of the overall performance of the Xbox brand.

Image credit: Microsoft

As you might recall, in 2015, Microsoft decided to stop publishing its Xbox sales numbers. At that time, they didn't delve into the details of the decision but today, Xbox's CFO Tim Stuart shed some light on why the company stopped announcing console sales figures.  

"At first it was like, 'What are you doing?' 'You're the Xbox business and you're not giving us console [sales numbers], that makes no sense.' But it was really the first point of us saying, no, no, it's about content and services," shared Stuart during the Wells Fargo 2023 TMT Summit.

According to Stuart, the company doesn't disclose any sales numbers because it won't give you the overall picture of how Xbox is performing. Well, Nintendo and Sony feel otherwise, announcing their hardware sales every quarter. Some believe that the possible reason why Microsoft refuses to share the information might be the fact that Xbox trailing behind PlayStation and Switch in terms of sales.

Image credit: 342 Industries, Halo Infinite

Stuart also spoke about how his role is focused on expanding Xbox's reach and increasing user spending. To achieve this, Microsoft offers players a range of purchasing options, such as buying games outright, subscribing to Xbox Game Pass, or engaging with advertisements for mobile titles.

He also shared that Microsoft adopts varied strategies for different regions. For instance, in India, Africa, and Southeast Asia, the company places emphasis on streaming and mobile games.

Speaking of Xbox Game Pass, Stewart said that the service is a top priority for Microsoft. Furthermore, he revealed the company's dedication to making Xbox Game Pass accessible on every conceivable screen.

"That means smart TVs. That means mobile devices. That means what we would have thought as competitors in the past, like PlayStation and Nintendo. We're going to Nvidia's GeForce Now, their gaming subscription service," he said.

This is not the first time Microsoft has expressed that they prioritize the overall performance of Xbox over console sales alone. Phil Spencer has previously made similar statements.

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