One would think that due to stock shortages and how difficult it is for people to buy the new Xbox Series X/S console, that that would have severely hampered sales for Microsoft. However, that’s not the case at all. It was already previously reported that it managed to break sales records in the UK in spite of the difficulties surrounding its launch and now Microsoft itself has revealed that its release has been a massive boon for the company.
During an earnings call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated that the Xbox Series X/S sold more units during its launch month than any other previous Xbox console did within the same time frame. No exact numbers were shared but that’s still an incredible feat regardless.
CFO Amy Hood added that hardware sales could have been better since, as mentioned earlier, the console suffered from stock shortages meaning supply couldn’t meet demand. Even now, it’s still nearly impossible to get ahold of one, forcing eager consumers to regularly check for stock updates. One person even made a bot for that very purpose.
However, gaming hardware revenue increased by 86% thanks to the Xbox Series X/S’ launch, with Microsoft’s gaming category breaking another record by reaching $5 billion in revenue for the first time in a financial quarter, with an additional $2 billion made from third-party game sales. Microsoft has had to rely on those in particular due to a severe lack of console exclusives, such as Halo Infinite, which was supposed to be a launch title but had to be delayed.
Xbox Game Pass, arguably the thing Microsoft has been pushing the most, also gained 3 million more subscribers, bringing the total up to 18 million. This certainly proves the service’s popularity and it likely would have been higher if the Xbox Series X/S were more easily available.
Even with this success, Microsoft still aims to drive up its revenue. It’s made no secret that it wishes to acquire new studios to make exclusive titles for the Xbox consoles, with the Bethesda buy-out sending shockwaves throughout the industry.
Microsoft did recently come under fire when it announced it would be increasing the subscription fees for Xbox Live Gold. The move was blasted not just because of the price hike (a yearly subscription, for example, doubled to $120) but because it was coming at a time of economic uncertainty for a lot of people, whose incomes had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This led to Microsoft rather swiftly reversing the decision and leaving the fees as they are.