Placing Microsoft’s cratering Xbox console gross sales in context

Scale is important, especially when talking about relative console sales.

Enlarge / Scale is vital, particularly when speaking about relative console gross sales. (credit score: Aurich Lawson | Getty Photographs)

Yesterday, Microsoft introduced that it made 31 p.c much less off Xbox {hardware} within the first quarter of 2024 (ending in March) than it had the yr earlier than, a lower it says was “pushed by decrease quantity of consoles offered.” And that is not as a result of the console offered notably effectively a yr in the past, both; Xbox {hardware} income for the primary calendar quarter of 2023 was already down 30 p.c from the earlier yr.

These two information factors communicate to a console that’s struggling to considerably enhance its participant base throughout a interval that ought to, traditionally, be its strongest gross sales interval. However getting wider context on these numbers is a bit troublesome due to how Microsoft stories its Xbox gross sales numbers (i.e., solely by way of quarterly modifications in whole console {hardware} income). Evaluating these annual shifts to the unit gross sales numbers that Nintendo and Sony report each quarter will not be precisely easy.

Context clues

Significant declines in Xbox hardware revenue for four of the last five quarters stand out relative to competitors' unit sales.

Important declines in Xbox {hardware} income for 4 of the final 5 quarters stand out relative to rivals’ unit gross sales. (credit score: Kyle Orland)

To try some direct contextual comparability, we took unit gross sales numbers for some current profitable Sony and Nintendo consoles and transformed them to Microsoft-style year-over-year proportion modifications (aligned with the launch date for every console). For this evaluation, we passed over every console’s launch quarter, which incorporates lower than three months of whole gross sales (and infrequently contains plenty of pent-up early adopter demand). We additionally skipped the primary 4 quarters of a console’s life cycle, which do not have a year-over-year comparability level from 12 months prior.

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