Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, has revealed the Series X and Series S console generation is the best selling in the 20-year history of the brand.
Spencer announced the record-breaking results in an extensive interview in the New York Times, in which he details some of the challenges that Microsoft — like so many other brands — has faced in trying to get consoles into consumer hands last year.
It means that, like its rival across the aisle at Sony, the Xbox Series generation has continued its initial launch impact with sales across the entire first year.
Microsoft doesn’t publish any official sales figures for the Xbox consoles any more, and hasn’t since the end of the first year of the Xbox One generation back in 2014. However that does give us a useful point of comparison: with 10m first-year sales, the Xbox One was the previous record holder.
The Series consoles are therefore at least in the eight-digits as of November 2021, with most estimates coming in at around 11 million. It took the Xbox 360 two and a half years to reach that point, with the original Xbox taking just a little longer than that.
Spencer notes that this figure isn’t due to supply issues per se, with Microsoft actually able to supply consoles at or about the same rate as before. The issue is that Xbox Series consoles are selling out due to a much higher demand than expected.
As quoted by the NYT, Spencer commented: “When you think about trying to go get an Xbox or a new PlayStation right now in the market, they’re really hard to find,” reflecting the experiences of many GTPlanet users. “And it’s not because supply is smaller than it’s ever been. Supply is actually as big as it’s ever been. It’s that demand is exceeding the supply for all of us.”
“I will say the swell in usage in gaming was a surprise to us. Back in — what would it have been — March, April of 2020 — we sold out of consoles, which we never do, in April and May. 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. So it’s our job to get the supply there to meet that demand.”
The good news for those of you yet to secure your new Xbox Series console is that Microsoft is working on it. Though the global demand for silicon wafers used in the vital components in consoles, mobile phones, and cars isn’t abating and will likely last well into this year (if not 2023), Microsoft is not only looking to secure more chips but to improve the entire supply chain.
Spencer makes particular note of trying to ensure that “real customers are buying our consoles and it’s not a bunch of scalpers and bots”, which should come as music to the ears of gamers (via Project Acoustics).