Xbox One Shipments Reveal Mixed News

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Xbox One Shipments Reveal Mixed News

While we know that Microsoft took the valuable Christmas shopping season when it came to console gaming, beating rival Sony for the second month running, some new reports have emerged about the second quarter of Microsoft's 2015 fiscal year. The news is mixed, which isn't a surprise, but the components of the mixture, meanwhile, may prove a shocker to some.

Reports note that Microsoft revealed that a hefty 6.6 million consoles had been shipped to retailers, and this is with both Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles in mind. Good numbers, sure, but this is actually down from the 7.4 million shipped in the same period the previous year. That's also significantly up on Sony's reported 4.1 million, but Microsoft is said to be counting sales to retailers while Sony is counting sales to individuals. That's something of an important distinction, and renders comparisons just a little difficult, particularly when it comes time to figure out the overall install base.

But the numbers weren't all going Microsoft's way; the second quarter saw $473 million in revenue, and this includes the Surface tablet system. But the $473 million is actually down 11 percent over the previous year, mostly owing to reduced prices on the Xbox One. Yet the release of the Surface Pro 3 and the move to Xbox One from Xbox 360 managed to get the Device and Consumer division—which includes both Xbox and Surface—to $49 million, up 12 percent from the previous year.

It was well known that Microsoft needed to do something to up its install base in order to be able to compete for exclusive titles and the like in the long term. Without the gamers in the fold, there was no reason for games to stay exclusive to Microsoft, and potentially, with a large enough disparity, more titles might have gone exclusively to Sony. But this narrowing of the gap should help keep the picture relatively balanced, which is good news.

There is no denying, numbers aside, that the console war is well and truly joined. With January coming to an end, however, one of the biggest numbers of all should be about ready for announcement: the Xbox One numbers. We all knew that Microsoft made huge gains in November and December with its price cut, but what January's numbers will make clear is how much those gains depended on price cuts for continued success. If Microsoft can keep the gains going coming into January, then we've got a serious case afoot. If it can't, then we know the market was more sensitive to pricing than some may have expected. This is going to be a big month, folks, so stick around; we've got lots more gaming news coming up.

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