Microsoft Basing Success on Xbox Live User Numbers, Rather Than Xbox Console Shipments

When Microsoft announced their Q1 Fiscal Year 16 financial results yesterday, many expected them to give an update on Xbox One and Xbox 360 shipment numbers, as they did back in July when the combined number for Q4 FY15 was 1.4 million (up 30%).

Unfortunately, they didn’t report console numbers, saying instead, “Xbox Live monthly active users grew 28% to 39 million,” but leaving out whether that number was Gold subscribers or just Xbox Live members in general.

During an investors call though, Microsoft said total Xbox hardware sales were down 17% year-over-year, mostly because of declining Xbox 360 sales. Since 2.4 million Xbox systems were sold in Q1 FY15, we can assume about 2 million consoles were shipped during Q1 FY16, but that’s just a rough estimate as the 17% drop was in revenue.

In a statement sent to Game Informer explaining the lack of sales numbers, Microsoft said they won’t be using console shipments as its primary metric for success beginning this quarter, focusing instead on Xbox Live numbers.

Another reason for no longer reporting console shipment numbers could be because the PlayStation 4 has a “huge lead” over the Xbox One, as Xbox Boss Phil Spencer admitted earlier this month. Sony is expecting to sell 38.8 million PS4s by March 31, 2016, and they managed to ship 3 million units between April 2015 and June 2015.

With Sony’s big Paris Games Week press conference scheduled for October 27, don’t be surprised if we hear updated PS4 sales figures.

[Source: Game Informer (1), (2), Microsoft, Games Beat, IGN]