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Retail

Xbox One tops 2 million sold

Xbox One tops 2 million sold

Wed 11 Dec 2013 2:26pm GMT / 9:26am EST / 6:26am PST
RetailHardware

Microsoft system makes milestone 18 days after launch, falling just shy of pace set by PS4

The Xbox One sold through more than 2 million systems in its first 18 days on sale, Microsoft announced today.

That figure puts the Xbox One's sales total just behind the pace set by the PlayStation 4. Sony launched its system in North America on November 15, and 18 days later proclaimed it had sold 2.1 million systems worldwide.

Microsoft's corporate VP of strategy and marketing for Xbox, Yusef Mehdi, said the system is sold out at most retailers, with demand exceeding supply in the 13 launch markets.

"We're also particularly excited to see consumers engaging in a wide range of games and entertainment experiences on the platform, with more than 1 million paid transactions on Xbox Live to date," Mehdi added. (That figure includes sales of both game and video content.)

33 Comments

Keith Andrew
Editor, PocketGamer.biz

31 28 0.9
A lot closer than anyone would have predicted back at E3, especially when you consider the smaller number of territories Xbox One is currently available in compared to PS4.

Posted:8 months ago

#1

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,072 1,007 0.9
Popular Comment
@Keith

at the moment Sony and MS are both restricted by how many consoles they get to stores, not by how many people are interested. They both have enough interested customers. Total distribution will become visible once everybody got the choice to vote with their wallet.

Posted:8 months ago

#2

Christian Keichel
Journalist

640 876 1.4
Both numbers should be taken with a mountain of salt. Neither Sony nor Microsoft know how much consoles were sold to consumers, everything they know is how much consoles they shipped. It remains unclear if retailers are holding back consoles for the remaining weeks of the year, just no to be sold out over weeks.
Next january Sony and MS should be able to give accurate numbers on how many consoles they shipped, but I don't expect them to do so, my guess is they will both combining the sales numbers of all their stationary consoles, like Sony does it for years now.

Posted:8 months ago

#3

Dave Herod
Senior Programmer

521 748 1.4
Popular Comment
@Christian Keichel -
The Xbox One sold through more than 2 million systems
Sold through means sold to customers, not stock in shops. So do you have anything to back that up or are you just jumping to conclusions?

Posted:8 months ago

#4

Christian Keichel
Journalist

640 876 1.4
@ Dave Herrod
Sold through means sold to customers, not stock in shops. So do you have anything to back that up or are you just jumping to conclusions?
What I have here is logic, from where should MS or Sony have gotten these numbers? Why should a retailer tell MS or Sony how much consoles he already sold.
It would be highly unusual practice by a retailer to provide the manufacturer with this kind of data, because this kind of data plays an important role in the price negotiations between the retailer and the manufacturer.
The retailer gets an advantage by not giving specific details about exact sales numbers to the manufacturer.
Besides, even in times were everything is IT driven, exact worldwide sales data is never available a few weeks after the launch of a product. On the other side, shipping numbers are instantly available, so, if we get numbers now, there is simply no way, that it can be sale through numbers, but only estimates by Sony and MS, based on their shipping numbers.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 11th December 2013 6:14pm

Posted:8 months ago

#5

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

434 406 0.9
Popular Comment
It would be highly unusual practice by a retailer to provide the manufacturer with this kind of data, because this kind of data plays an important role in the price negotiations between the retailer and the manufacturer.
Activations?

Posted:8 months ago

#6

Roman Margold
Rendering Software Engineer

24 34 1.4
If you want a fair article on these meaningless numbers, read here: http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/11/5199600/xbox-one-2-million-sales , GI got it very very wrong by not proving any perspective (and also has the data wrong - Sony revealed the 2.1M "milestone" 16 days after launch, not 18). Either way, what Klaus says - they are all sold out, so these are "availability numbers", we need to wait for "demand numbers" to show up next year.

Posted:8 months ago

#7

Christian Keichel
Journalist

640 876 1.4
@ Keidon
Activations?
Activations are not giving an accurate number either, because it would mean, that 100% of all consoles are a) connected to the Internet (most probably true with the XBox One, because otherwise the console is just a power eating brick, but not true with the PS4, because it can be used offline fine) and more important b) it would mean, that EVERY console sold is already activated, which is unlikely, for sure a certain portion of these consoles were bought at christmas gifts and are stored safely away at the moment, still boxed.

Posted:8 months ago

#8

Craig Page
Programmer

382 218 0.6
I don't entirely trust anyone's numbers. But a quick check with Walmart and FutureShop shows they're both pretty much sold out of both consoles. Walmart claims to have Xbox Ones available at one store within driving distance, and FutureShop claims to have PS4 available at one store within driving distance.

On their launch days here, both consoles were sold out around lunch time.

Posted:8 months ago

#9

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,017 1,463 1.4
There is SOME number flubbing here worth noting. While both took 18 days to break 2 million units, Microsoft's 18 days were in 13 markets, while for Sony only 3 of those days were in their international markets, and the rest were US only. Sony should have a considerable sales lead through the holidays overall, although again this first holiday they'll both sell almost everything they produce.... what they're selling in February is considerably more important than what they sell in December.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nicholas Pantazis on 11th December 2013 7:43pm

Posted:8 months ago

#10

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,246 2,233 1.0
Popular Comment
Congrats to Sony and MS.

I do find it curious that those who predicted would be DOA are conspicuously absent from these articles.

Posted:8 months ago

#11

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
I'm here.
Firstly WiiU. When I said that this = Dreamcast I was derided. Now far more people believe this.

Xbone and PS4. These are manufactured at a million a month each, for the whole world.
So it will take a while to satisfy all the early adopters, fanboys and core gamers.
Then what?

Posted:8 months ago

#12

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,246 2,233 1.0
Bruce, you do know that Wii U sales are picking up in the US and Japan, right? That's not very Dreamcast-like behavior.

As for PS4 and Xbox One...I see the goal posts are being pushed back even further.

Posted:8 months ago

#13

Richard Browne
EVP Gaming and Interactive

98 113 1.2
It's purely a manufacturing race until next year.

Posted:8 months ago

#14

Steve Wetz
Reviewer/Assistant Editor

196 499 2.5
I'll only be looking at the analysis that occurs after the "number sold" is not a function of supply, but of demand. Until then, no clear front-runner could be declared.

Posted:8 months ago

#15

David Serrano
Freelancer

299 270 0.9
@Bruce Everiss
So it will take a while to satisfy all the early adopters, fanboys and core gamers. Then what?
Exactly. I still have not heard one convincing argument for why 120M to 130M 360 and PS3 owners who do not actively buy games for the consoles they already own would invest $400 or $500 in a new system? Or why people who exclusively use the 360 or PS3 to access streaming media or as a DVD / blu-ray player would buy an XBO or PS4 when they can buy far less expensive devices to access the same content? I mean... I just paid $90 for a Samsung wi-fi blu-ray player that can access Netflix, Pandora and YouTube.

My guess is combined next gen sales will probably hit a wall at approx. 30M (give or take 5M) and they'll remain flat until prices drop into the $200 to $300 range. Or until the overall development focus radically changes.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Serrano on 11th December 2013 11:32pm

Posted:8 months ago

#16

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

900 1,330 1.5
Not only is this good news for Microsoft but also for the entire industry. As someone else eluded to, Microsoft and Sony could sell pretty much any consoles they ship to store shelves during this holiday season. So far it looks like(based on my experience working in Gamestop and Target over the last week) Microsoft has done a slightly better job of restocking their partners stores, even if they are only sending 3-5 units at a time. I'm sure Sony would love to send more units but they don't seem to be getting them to US stores as often as Microsoft is sending them. But when either system does arrive it sells out within that day. The demand for both will easily last thru the beginning of January, though probably much further than that.

Posted:8 months ago

#17

Germán Vázquez
Executive Producer

35 16 0.5
Christian, do you really know how the retail channels work? I ask this seriously because you don't seem to know.

"It would be highly unusual practice by a retailer to provide the manufacturer with this kind of data, because this kind of data plays an important role in the price negotiations between the retailer and the manufacturer.
The retailer gets an advantage by not giving specific details about exact sales numbers to the manufacturer."

They are, in case you haven't heard RETAIL PARTNERS as that they have to work together to get products on shelves, why would MS or Sony keep working with a retail partner that doesn't provide them with exact sales numbers? Why supply this kind of retailer? Specially when you have the two most sought after pieces of new technology that everyone will want to get for Christmas, they work together from the beginning and the fee that retailers get for every Xbox One or PS4 is already negotiated usually months in advance.

And I don't say this as "logic" but as a matter of fact having worked in different areas of Walmart, you wont get a best example of how retailers work than that.

Posted:8 months ago

#18

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

786 595 0.8
@Bruce
So it will take a while to satisfy all the early adopters, fanboys and core gamers.
Then what?
Then the initial job will be done, maybe? Covering you customer base is pretty much the objective of any service/product.
But in this case the "then what" will be the rest of the people getting consoles in a regular basis, just like every other previous console generation since the 8-bit era. Not to mention that, as Klaus said up there; right now Sony and MS are both restricted by how many consoles they get to stores, not by how many people are interested. Something that had little precedent in the past.

And I would not compare the WiiU with the Dreamcast:
Dreamcast was a next-gen console that bite the dust due to the terrible marketing of Sega.
WiiU can't even be considered next-gen and its problem is that it doesn't have a defined target audience: Casual gamers are no longer interested and an important number of core gamers do not trust Nintendo anymore. As I said in more than once: Most of the Nintendo fans I know currently own a 360.

Posted:8 months ago

#19

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Alfonso Sexto
Sony and MS are both restricted by how many consoles they get to stores, not by how many people are interested. Something that had little precedent in the past.
This is not true.

Posted:8 months ago

#20

Christian Keichel
Journalist

640 876 1.4
why would MS or Sony keep working with a retail partner that doesn't provide them with exact sales numbers? Why supply this kind of retailer?
Do you really know how capitalism works? Information is gold within the negotiations between business partners and not something, that will be given away for free.
The exact knowledge, of how much units you can sell is nothing you give away for free, because this knowledge gives the manufacturer of the product the possibility to meet the exact demand and produce nothing more. That's not in the interest of the retailer. He wants a manufacturer, that produces as much units as he can, with the result, that he is forced to sell the products to the retailer at a lower price
This is because higher manufacturing rates always result in a lower prices for the retailer because
- the production costs are shrinking
- the manufacturer's interest in selling the products is rising with every unit he produces.
If the retailer gives away exact sales numbers, the manufacturer has an advantage, because
- he knows if retailer X is selling more then retailer Y, in the furture this means in cases of shortages, retailer X won't receive his units at the same time as retailer Y, because he isn't so important
- because the manufacturer can control the price the retailer has to pay by slightly underproducing (or undershipping) his product to create artificial shortages.

Because of these points, it is in the interest of the retailer to obscure the exact sales numbers from the manufacturer, that's retail 101.

Also, you seem to confuse the roles of the partners here. There is no way, that Sony or MS couldn't work together with a big retailer for the launch of their console, simply because it's in their interest for now to get the consoles on as many shelfs as possible. Imagine a situation, were Amazon sells the PS4 and not the XBox One or vice versa.

Posted:8 months ago

#21

Justin Biddle
Software Developer

156 477 3.1
@Bruce
This is not true.
But that's exactly what you said
Xbone and PS4. These are manufactured at a million a month each, for the whole world.
So it will take a while to satisfy all the early adopters, fanboys and core gamers.
Then what?
I.E. They aren't able to manufacture enough to satisfy current buying. Your own statement seems to say it is true.

Posted:8 months ago

#22

Robin Clarke
Producer

300 684 2.3
Yes, the terrible secret is revealed: these consoles will only sell to people who want to play games on them. Of which there are over 100m. With each spending $100s on software over the lifetime of the machine. Hardly worth getting out of bed for, really.

Posted:8 months ago

#23

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Justin Biddle

Let me be more clear:
@Alfonso Sexto:
Something that had little precedent in the past.
Is not true.
Fact.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bruce Everiss on 12th December 2013 12:20pm

Posted:8 months ago

#24

Justin Biddle
Software Developer

156 477 3.1
Ah. Fair enough

Posted:8 months ago

#25

Keith Andrew
Editor, PocketGamer.biz

31 28 0.9
@Klaus

That suggests that it was always guaranteed both consoles would sell out. That's not a given. My point was, few would have predicted Xbox One would have sold out on this level of volume back after E3.

It's also worth pointing out - and strange that the media hasn't picked up on this - that Xbox One's tally is across 13 territories to the PS4's 32.

Posted:8 months ago

#26

Keith Andrew
Editor, PocketGamer.biz

31 28 0.9
There is SOME number flubbing here worth noting. While both took 18 days to break 2 million units, Microsoft's 18 days were in 13 markets, while for Sony only 3 of those days were in their international markets, and the rest were US only. Sony should have a considerable sales lead through the holidays overall, although again this first holiday they'll both sell almost everything they produce
Nicholas - no, this is not true. PS4's figures come from 32 international markets.

Posted:8 months ago

#27

Sandy Lobban
Founder and Creative Director

314 206 0.7
There's no doubt that in general technology plays a bigger part in everyones lives these days. I dont think its a console vs something else argument. I think people are happy to own multiple devices. I'm glad they are both off to a good start. There has been a lot of noise about the price of games on these consoles recently though. Along with price, both companies mentioned are no longer the gatekeepers to gaming that they once were and exclusives are far and few between in the grand scale of things. Based on these factors people will follow the route of best value if all other factors are equal. I think the AAA prices are ludicrous, and personally it doesnt represent value for money to me. These business models will be challenged when valid living room competition comes along and I think both companies have to show better value for money before this happens.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sandy Lobban on 12th December 2013 12:58pm

Posted:8 months ago

#28

Nick Parker
Consultant

280 144 0.5
Retail audits such as GfK, NPD, Famitsu have been providing sell-through of varying accuracy over the last three weeks. Retailers provide sell-through back to console manufacturers. We'll know definitely by second week in January how well they performed for sure during the holiday period. It's a good thing Xbox One was only launched in 13 markets; as everybody has been saying, you can only sell what you've got. It seems there's more PS4 inventory available than Xbox One especially where Sony has taken the battle to Microsoft in markets like the UK.

Posted:8 months ago

#29

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,072 1,007 0.9
looking at the amount of consoles both the 360 and PS3 sold, it comes to no surprise that both can muster enough fans to sell all their units.

The interesting part is the difference to Apple. When Apple launches, there are millions of units available and the phone is always in stock. In combination with their type of advertisement, it creates a fast paced sell-through with the narrative of the geeks leading the masses to Apple. Models are quickly replaced, rinse, repeat. In the case of Sony and MS, the situation seems to be that both competitors race to the market as fast as possible at the expense of being able to keep their product in stock. For this holiday season, we can observe core fans being served, but there being no critical mass of available consoles on the market. Because of this, the consoles are not creating much mainstream attention. The hype seems to be cooling down faster than Sony and MS can put consoles into shops, making it less likely the new consoles catch on because of the described Apple effect of a public perception of the geeks leading the masses.


Another very real problem is the amount of consoles on ebay and Amazon. Everybody and their mother seems to be hellbent on trying to flip a console for a quick buck. Having sold out is not the gold standard, if the tiniest excess goes to Hyenas instead of real customers. Particularly on Amazon, you have ten pages of people saying they played it once and are now selling it to the next guy at a profit. Amazon.de

Posted:8 months ago

#30

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,017 1,463 1.4
@ Keith But only for 3 days, while MS is counting all their international markets for two weeks.

Posted:8 months ago

#31

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

305 171 0.6
@Christian

How do they know sellthrough? Retailer POS back ends. Microsoft/Sony and Nintendo have full access, either through their own direct login or through their contact at the retailer. Wal-mart forbids publishing their numbers by contract (and does not participate in public reporting agencies to boot. The POS systems typically phone home at least once a day, often every few hours, so by 3-4AM Pacific on launch day, Microsoft had a real good idea how they were doing, and not just by system registrations. When I was a buyer for a major media retailer, indies who didn't have the money or volume for such access would regularly call me to find out how their products were doing., and this was before the kind of integration they have today

Posted:8 months ago

#32

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

305 171 0.6
@christian. The information is not "free", it's part of the arrangement to sell the product. There are plenty of recording agencies that pay retailers for that information like RentTrak or NPD. The bargaining points have nothing to do with the numbers, they can tell that well enough by reorders. The bargaining chips are all about end caps and ad placement. It's about putting yiur cardboard standee next to the registers, the TVs etc.

The thing you don't reveal, is how much you're paying per unit, and as a manufacturer, how low you can really go. In the case of video games, the prices are set for the most part. So you bargain sale prices for exposure, and for discounts on high margin items like controllers, or on overstock games that still move ( typically a great source for Black Friday dump bins)


Walk into a supermarket. Every single placement on those shelves has been bargained for. From the cat food to the peanut butter. The same goes for games, just less extreme

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeff Kleist on 12th December 2013 6:36pm

Posted:8 months ago

#33

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