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A couple days ago, Sony announced that the PlayStation 4 had sold 7 million units in over 72 territories worldwide since its launch last November. Yesterday, Microsoft made an announcement of its own, reporting that “more than 5 million Xbox One consoles have been sold-in to retailers” since its own launch a week after the PS4. That sounds like it’s nipping at the PS4’s heels—but that’s just not the case.

titanfall-codeSaying that you’ve got 5 million units “sold-in to retailers” simply means that you’ve shipped 5 million units. That doesn’t say a single thing about who has actually bought it. That number fudging, and the frequent news of deals and price-drops for the Xbox One, is not particularly reassuring. The announcement elaborates a bit lower down, saying that the Xbox One sold 311,000 units in the United States in March, so that’s a bit of something. But there’s no information about the console’s worldwide sales, or year-to-date sales when compared with Sony’s claim of 7 million PS4 units sold worldwide.

That said, the announcement also includes a legitimate boast: NPD reported that Titanfall for the Xbox One was the top selling game in March. That game’s popularity and high quality isn’t much of a surprise, and it’s definitely worth crowing about that the Xbox One version took the grand prize. Still, it’s something of a pyrrhic victory when you realize that it wasn’t the system seller Microsoft had hoped it would be.

But let’s also stop and consider the point in time we’re at. It’s April—not exactly the prime console-buying time of year. I would expect to see a bit of a spike in sales for both platforms this summer when graduation (or good report cards) induce parents to drop some money for game hardware. And, of course, the next real battle between the two console giants won’t actually come until this holiday season, when Christmas shoppers generally pick up the buying pace. If Xbox One continues to seriously lag in sales compared with the PS4, then Microsoft might have more reason to worry.

Then again, Microsoft has been consistently profitable for years regardless of the Xbox division’s performance. Sony, on the other hand, has had its credit rating degraded every year with middling-to-disappointing sales in just about every division other than video games. So who’s the real winner here?

[Source: Xbox Wire]



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