Its console sales may not be all that, but in terms of people using Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass Microsoft has got a lot to shout about.
The Xbox One is obviously behind in terms of console sales but hardware is not where the biggest profits are made and such strong figures for both Xbox Live and Game Pass, announced as part of Microsoft’s latest financial results, means the Xbox division is still doing very well.
It’s also been obvious for years now that Microsoft wants to transition away from the Xbox brand meaning just the console, using it both on PCs and its streaming service Project xCloud.
According to Microsoft there are ‘hundreds of thousands’ of active users testing the service now, in Europe, America, and elsewhere, although it’s still unclear when it’ll be launched as a paid-for service.
Unofficial estimates put it at around 47 million consoles though, less than half the PlayStation 4’s total of around 110 million and behind the Nintendo Switch (which launched three years later than the Xbox One) total of roughly 55 million.
Microsoft will obviously be doing its level best to ensure the Xbox Series X performs better but they’ve already implied that a combination of Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud is where the future of Xbox lies, and perhaps gaming as a whole.
For now though consoles are still vitally important and despite all the good news in terms of subscriptions and services the Xbox group still saw overall revenues fall by 1% to $2.35 billion (£1.88bn).
That may not sound like much, but it works out as $14 million (£11.2m), with a 20% drop in hardware revenues responsible for the dip, despite the increased demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
By comparison, revenue from Xbox content and services grew by just 2%, equivalent to $33 million (£26.4m).
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