Xbox Series X|S Has Biggest Launch in Xbox History

Spencer driven by player numbers, not hardware sales
  • Chris De Hoog | 
    Nov 12, 2020
Xbox Series X|S Has Biggest Launch In Xbox History
After two days on sale, the Xbox Series X|S has already become the largest launch in the company’s history.

Microsoft Executive VP of Gaming Phil Spencer made the announcement on Twitter Wednesday night, claiming the first day of combined Series X|S sales saw more units sold internationally than the previous three generations of Xboxes.

The original Xbox sold 1.5 million units between its November 15, 2001 launch and the end of the year, only within North America. Numbers were lower than expected for the Xbox 360’s launch in November 2005, with 326, 000 units. The Xbox One then had a strong first day, selling one million units on November 15, 2015, and three million units worldwide by the end of the year. This puts the combined worldwide sales of the Xbox Series X|S over one million units in twenty four hours.

Despite his excitement for these sales figures Spencer revealed, in an interview with The Guardian yesterday, that he doesn’t want his team to dwell upon hardware sales figures, and refused to divulge how many units the Xbox One officially sold.

The Xbox Series X|S Had The Xbox'S Strongest Launch Ever, Selling Over A Million Units Combined.
The Xbox Series X|S had the Xbox’s strongest launch ever, selling over a million units combined. (Microsoft)

“The primary outcome of all the work that we do is how many players we see, and how often they play. That is what drives Xbox,” he said. If I start to highlight something else, both publicly and internally, it changes our focus. Things that lack backwards compatibility become less interesting. Putting our games on PC becomes a reason that somebody doesn’t have to go and buy an Xbox Series X. I’ll hold fast to this. We publicly disclose player numbers. That’s the thing I want us to be driven by, not how many individual pieces of plastic did we sell.”

When asked if he would change his tune if Microsoft overtakes Sony, he replied, “I can promise you that I won’t do that.”

Microsoft stopped releasing its console sale numbers in 2014. It’s estimated that the Nintendo Switch sold more units in three years than the Xbox One did in seven, and that the PlayStation 4 — also released in 2013 — sold twice as many units in its lifetime.

History aside, the next generation of Xbox appears to be off to a solid start. (Read CGM’s review of the Xbox Series X here.)




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