Microsoft are suffering the pre-next gen blues when it comes to their sales figures, as total Xbox revenues drop by 21% on last year.
The decision on when to start the next generation of consoles is one that’s made based on a simple question: are sales of the current console still on the increase or are they starting to fall?
That’s why Sony started hinting about the PlayStation 5 surprisingly early on and why Microsoft has been secretly working on the Xbox Series X for years.
Sales really start to plummet once the new consoles are announced though and the drop of 43% for Xbox One is particularly precipitous. Although that’s not just because they’re selling less but because they’re also now cheaper than they used to be.
For the last three months, overall revenues for the Xbox division were down 21% on the same time last year to $3.3 billion (£2.5bn).
Although it’s not unexpected it’s a big drop and ‘content and services revenue’ (i.e. digital sales) were down 11%, which was put down to there being no new game last year on the scale of Red Dead Redemption 2.
The only positive – although it’s an important one – was continued growth in subscriptions. Microsoft no longer reports monthly active users, just like it doesn’t report hardware figures, but it claims numbers reached a record high in the last three months and that Xbox Games Pass subscriptions have more than doubled.
Microsoft expects overall numbers to continue to fall this year, but since the company overall is not exactly strapped for cash that won’t be a problem.
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