On an episode of the New York Times podcast (opens in new tab), Spencer revealed that the two current-gen consoles have been selling extremely well since launching in November 2020.
“At this point, we’ve sold more of this generation of Xboxes, which is Xbox Series X and S, than we had any previous version of Xboxes,” Spencer said. That means the Xbox Series X and S are beating the original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One in terms of sales over the same post-launch period.
Naturally, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have a long way to go if they’re to surpass each of the previous consoles' to-date sales. The Xbox 360 topped 85 million units, while the Xbox One has sold over 50 million units since its release in 2013. Still, it’s encouraging news for Microsoft that its latest systems are off to a fast start.
The achievement is all the more impressive considering that supply issues continue to plague the Xbox Series X in particular. Demand for Microsoft’s flagship console remains extremely high, with stock tending to sell out as quickly as it appears.
Spencer warned that supply issues could continue into 2023, but it’s the sheer demand that is causing problems for Microsoft. “Supply is actually as big as it’s ever been. It’s that demand is exceeding the supply for all of us,” Spencer said, alluding to the fact that the PS5 and even the Nintendo Switch OLED are difficult for consumers to find.
The Xbox Series S, however, is now more readily available, and this is likely one of the main reasons why Microsoft has managed to reach this early sales milestone. The console was not only a popular option during Black Friday 2021; it’s helped Microsoft shift far more units than expected in difficult territories like Japan.
Having an entry option for those who don’t need the highest console specs possible seems to have also proved beneficial for Microsoft’s bottom line, as the Xbox Series S has proven itself to be a capable next-gen console.
Analysis: Microsoft’s two-console strategy appears to be working
Even though most hardcore gamers would rather opt for the more powerful Xbox Series X when push comes to shove, not everyone is bothered about having the most pristine visuals available.
In fact, it’s likely that the Xbox Series S has resonated particularly well with parents, as younger games won’t be as picky about whether their favorite game is running at 4K or 1080p, as long as they have a platform to play it on.
The Xbox Series S, despite being less powerful, is capable of the same next-gen features as the Xbox Series X, something which was recently demonstrated by the impressive Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 demo. It’s also surprisingly portable for a console, which makes it a good option for those who like to travel.
With games like Starfield, Redfall, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl, CrossFireX, and Forza Motorsport due this year, there are plenty of titles that might tempt more users into picking up an Xbox Series X/S console in the near future. Whether or not Microsoft’s latest systems will surpass the Xbox 360’s final sales tally remains to be seen, but if the next few years are anything like what we saw from Xbox in 2021, it won't be far off.
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