Has Microsoft admitted defeat in the console sales war?

Xbox One vs. PS4
Game over?

The days of seeing stories like 'PS4's outselling Xbox by almost 2-to-1' could be over as Microsoft looks to have called time on the console sales war.

Last week saw the Big M announce its quarterly results - yes, yes, fiscal announcements, yawn - but the interesting thing noted by Game Informer was the lack of Microsoft's usual hardware shipment metrics.

When quizzed on this a Microsoft source responded saying it was no longer using such figures as its measurement of success. Instead it would be focusing on user engagement, choosing Xbox Live figures as its leading stat.

Essentially Microsoft has made a tacit announcement that, in terms of hardware sales at least, it has lost the sales war of this generation of machines.

Given we're just about to hit peak sales time for hardware this looks like an admission that, even if the Xbox One has an amazing holiday period in terms of sales, there has been simply too much ground ceded to the PlayStation 4 for Microsoft's own box to catch up.

Xbox One

Happier stats

To be fair, those Xbox Live usership stats do make for much more pleasing viewing for the Microsoft faithful. The number of monthly active users rose sharply in the last quarter, growing by 28% to a hefty 39 million users.

Long-time industry analyst, Michael Pachter, told Fortune yesterday that he believes Sony's PS4 is set to have another excellent holiday period, outselling Microsoft's console, and would probably do so with or without the price cut which has given it price parity with the Xbox One.

"Microsoft should cut price only if it cares about how many consoles it sells," he went on to say.

And, given that it's both halted reporting on its own sales and refused calls for a price cut of its own, it sure looks like Microsoft has now stopped caring about such figures.

Or at the very least wants everyone to stop talking about it...