The battle between Microsoft and Sony for public perception of greatness is never-ending, especially when it comes to their roles as creators of the gaming brands Xbox and PlayStation. Similarly to how PC gamers frequently choose “Team AMD” or “Team NVIDIA,” console gamers frequently choose Xbox or PlayStation and stick with it generation after generation. Every few years, Sony and Microsoft release new iterations of the Xbox and PlayStation, only adding fuel to the fire with new features, supported games, and performance metrics. A new legal filing in the latest battle of this ongoing war reveals that Sony has Microsoft beat in one devastating way: the number of consoles sold.
Xbox and PlayStation consoles compete in a variety of ways, including paid subscription plans, and many players swear by one or the other rather than getting both. After all, these gaming consoles are expensive, and there are plenty of titles that offer cross-platform gameplay, such as “Fortnite,” “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” or “Apex Legends.” Crossplay is becoming increasingly important, and as it becomes more common, gamers are less likely to purchase both a Xbox and a PlayStation. There are still some console-specific exclusives that may entice a customer to choose Sony or Microsoft.
Whatever the reason, in the generation of consoles that included the Xbox One and PS4, gamers favored Sony over Microsoft. Sony sold far more PlayStation 4 units than Microsoft did Xbox One, according to the aforementioned filing.
This revealing legal filing from Brazil relates to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Thurrot discovered it first, and has also taken the time to translate it. According to the filing, Sony has outsold Microsoft in terms of both console sales and install base, and Sony has sold twice as many consoles as Xbox did in the previous generation. Of course, this is referring to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Sony sold over 117.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles as of March 31, 2022. Half of that is 58.6 million, so by the end of the first quarter of 2022, Microsoft must have sold only 58.6 million Xbox One consoles. Thurrot estimated that Microsoft’s unit sales by the third month of 2022 would be in the 50-55 million range.
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While the Xbox One did poorly, its successor is faring much better. The Xbox Series X and S are the fastest-selling Xbox consoles ever, according to a recent Microsoft earnings call. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also stated that the Xbox Series X|S has sold more units than the PlayStation 5 in the United States for the last four months in a row. There could be some important reasons for this, especially given the variety of supply and demand issues the gaming industry has faced in recent years. Let’s hope that I will release some official numbers in the future so that we can compare the two generations and see how many consoles they sold.