November 2020 is an exciting month for gamers, as four brand new consoles make their debuts on three separate launch days. The first of those, for the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X, came on Tuesday, November 10, and according to Microsoft it was the largest launch in the entire history of the console family.
Although we don’t yet have any specific numbers to hand, the info comes courtesy of the best-placed source: Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of Xbox. Spencer took to Twitter to congratulate fans who supported the launch, buying the XSS and XSX in record numbers.
Thank you for supporting the largest launch in Xbox history. In 24 hrs more new consoles sold, in more countries, than ever before. We’re working with retail to resupply as quickly as possible. You continue to show us the connective power of play is more important than ever.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 12, 2020
To put this statement into context, the original Xbox sold around a million units in its first three weeks on sale, and hit 1.5 million three weeks later. Its successor, the Xbox 360, reached the same 1.5 million figure in five weeks — a week quicker.
Xbox only hit its stride with the Xbox One, launching exactly eight years after the 360, which sold three million consoles in its first five weeks. A million of that total came within the first 24 hours on sale, suggesting that the new Series generation has shipped more than a million.
At the moment, without official figures, it’s difficult to say whether this applies to the combined sales of the two consoles, or if one of them managed to eclipse the XB1’s sales on its own. However it’s clear that demand for the new generation of Xbox is at least as high as it was seven years ago. That said, as per Spencer’s post, the Xbox Series launched in almost three times the number of territories as the Xbox One.
Of course the demand also causes some unusual problems. Not everyone who wanted an Xbox Series console could buy one due to hardware shortages, and Spencer notes that Microsoft is trying to restock suppliers as soon as possible.
This all also bodes well for the PlayStation 5 launch, which takes place today in seven territories, and the rest of the world on November 19. Sony experienced record volumes with the PlayStation 4, selling a million on launch day in the USA alone. According to Sony’s Jim Ryan, PS5 has sold more in pre-orders than PS4 did in three months.