Xbox Executive Reveals Why Microsoft Stopped Announcing Console Sales Numbers


  • Microsoft stopped disclosing Xbox sales numbers publicly because it believes numbers alone don’t show how well Xbox is performing against its rivals.
  • Microsoft measures the success of Xbox through its content and services, such as customer numbers and revenue generation.
  • Microsoft is focusing on streaming and mobile gaming opportunities in some regions like Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, instead of console sales.

Xbox CFO Tim Stuart has revealed that content and services show how well its Xbox consoles perform against its rivals, leading to Microsoft’s refusal to disclose Xbox sales numbers publicly. Microsoft stopped announcing Xbox sales numbers in 2015, but it didn’t reveal why it did so.

When Microsoft launched the original Xbox console in 2001, it entered a market dominated by Sony and Nintendo with their own gaming consoles, the PlayStation 2 and GameCube, respectively. Although competition was fierce, the company managed to attract a following through its console’s content, features, and game offerings. Today, the company’s Xbox Game Pass contains various Xbox-exclusive and PC games, and its Halo and Gears of War franchises made the Xbox a beloved console. Despite the love Xbox gamers have for the console, Microsoft stopped disclosing its sales numbers publicly in 2015.

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According to Xbox Chief Financial Officer Tim Stuart’s statement at this week’s Wells Fargo 2023 TMT Summit, Microsoft stopped announcing Xbox sales figures because it believes that numbers alone don’t show how well Xbox is performing against its competitors, GameSpot reported. Microsoft gauges the Xbox’s success through its content and services, as it is not just a console brand anymore, and its success is measured by customer numbers and the money it brings in as a brand. As such, Microsoft gives gamers a variety of ways to generate revenue for the company, like buying games, watching ads on mobile, or purchasing a subscripton to Xbox Game Pass.

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xbox series x and s consoles

The company’s approach to making the Xbox brand more profitable is evidenced by its marketing plans for various regions. According to Stuart, some countries like Africa, India, and Southeast Asia lean towards platforms other than console. Microsoft therefore intends to focus on streaming and mobile gaming opportunities in those markets, perhaps leveraging its ownership of Activision Blizzard to reach a “potential audience […] in the billions.”

Stuart’s statement holds true to Xbox head Phil Spencer’s statement in late August that console sales aren’t a gauge of the Xbox’s success. However, some people assume that Microsoft hiding Xbox console sales figures indicates that it’s not selling well and that the company is utilizing other methods to make a profit. This shift may explain why Microsoft plans to use Activision Blizzard’s mobile games to become a leader in the mobile market instead of providing more reasons for gamers in those regions to buy an Xbox console.

Some people may interpret Stuart’s statements to mean that, in a worst-case scenario, Microsoft is slowly giving up on Xbox consoles to focus on making a profit in the mobile market due to low Xbox demand. Its successful purchase of Activision Blizzard and Xbox Game Pass catering to mobile gamers with its Xbox cloud gaming feature may put it in a prime position to be more than a top player in the mobile market of several world regions.


Xbox Series X

Microsoft’s ninth-generation console, the Xbox Series X is a powerful machine that can support 4K resolution and 60 fps, depending on the game. Released alongside the Xbox Series S, the Series X has a Custom AMD Zen 2 CPU, a Custom RDNA 2 GPU, and 16 GB of RAM. 

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Brand Microsoft Original Release Date November 10, 2020 Hardware Versions Xbox Series X Original MSRP (USD) $499 Weight 9.8 LBS See at Official Site See at Walmart See at Best Buy $487 at Amazon

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