Back in 2015, which seems like ages ago at this point, Microsoft declared that it would no longer release annual or even quarterly sales figures on the Xbox One. The company has been holding strong to that through all the new incarnations since. To the average critic, we get the reason why, as Xbox sales have been behind the PS4 sales ever since they went head-to-head in the current console wars. It’s nothing to be ashamed of — Microsoft is still a global company that makes billions every year, but unless there are 500 companies all gunning for the same prize it’s never fun to advertise that you’re in second place. However, in a piece with Variety this week, a spokeswoman for the company revealed their official reason why they’re not releasing figures: they measure in metrics now.
Reached for comment this week, Microsoft reiterated that it still doesn’t share the number of Xbox One sold, but this time explained why, noting that it’s using a different “key metric for success.”
“We are continuing to look at engagement as our key metric for success and are no longer reporting on total console sales,” a spokesperson told Variety. “During Microsoft’s FY18 Q3 earnings, we announced that gaming revenue grew 18% year-over-year, driven by Xbox software and services revenue growth of 24%, and Xbox Live monthly active users grew 1% year-over-year to 59 million. We continue to see strong growth with time spent on Xbox Live, and look forward to bringing more unprecedented experiences on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC and mobile.”
As you might suspect, there’s already criticism in Variety’s comments section over it, and other websites covering the article are seeing the same criticism. But if that’s how they wish to measure their business growth from now on in the public eye, there’s not much anyone can do about it.