More than three years after debuting, Microsoft’s Xbox One console still continues to rack up the sales.
The Redmond company had its biggest month ever for Xbox One sales in the U.S. last month. Xbox One was also the top-selling console during the second half of 2016 — ahead of Sony’s PlayStation 4 — driven in part by the Xbox One S release in August.
“December was the biggest month ever for Xbox One sales in the U.S. and Xbox One was the only eighth generation console with year-over-year growth, according to NPD,” Xbox marketing exec Mike Nichols said in a statement. “In addition, Xbox One was the top-selling console over the second half of 2016, following the announcement of Xbox One S at E3. In November and December we saw Xbox Live engagement reach an all-time high of 3.9 billion hours, up 23 percent compared to 2015 driven by fan excitement for the greatest games lineup.”
The surge in sales for the latter half of 2016 resulted in part from the new Xbox One S and the release of games like “Halo 5: Guardians,” “Gears of War 4,” and “Titanfall 2.” It’s a nice rebound for Microsoft, which has recovered from its early Xbox One struggles.
Sony’s PS4 still ended up outselling the Xbox One in December for U.S. sales. Sony said earlier this month that it has sold 53.4 million PS4 consoles worldwide since November 2013, when both the PS4 and Xbox One debuted. Sony has outpaced Microsoft for current generation worldwide console sales since then; the discrepancy is unclear as Microsoft no longer breaks out its Xbox sales numbers.
Sony sold 6.2 million PS4 units over the recent holiday season, which is about 500,000 more than last holiday season.
While Microsoft in August rolled out the Xbox One S, a smaller and more advanced version of the original Xbox One, Sony in September announced a pair of new PS4 models — one that is slimmed down and another that is more powerful and designed for 4K and HDR TVs. A month later, Sony released its PlayStation VR system.
Microsoft is set to release Project Scorpio, “the most powerful console ever built,” later this year.
Gaming revenue made up around 10 percent of Microsoft’s $22.3 billion in total revenue in the recent quarter at $2.1 billion, which was actually down 5 percent compared to the prior year — the dip was caused by lower console prices and fewer units sold, Microsoft said.