Microsoft Says It Shipped 5 Million Xbox Ones

Sales of the company's newest Xbox outpace its successful predecessor, but the console still trails behind Sony's PlayStation 4.

Microsoft has just passed a major milestone—having shipped 5 million Xbox One gaming consoles.

"More than 5 million Xbox One consoles have been sold-in to retailers since our launch," Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Marketing, Strategy and Business at Xbox, announced in an April 17 blog post. The Xbox One first hit store shelves on Nov. 22.

"The new generation is off to a strong start," added Mehdi. According to sales figures from the NPD Group, 311,000 Xbox Ones were sold to consumers in the United States. At its current pace, the new hardware is "surpassing Xbox 360 sales by more than 60 percent at the same point in time," Mehdi said. On average, owners buy 2.9 games per console.

Strong Xbox One sales may help Microsoft's new universal software approach gain momentum and attract more developers.

During Build 2014, the software giant set its universal Windows app development strategy in motion with the launch of the Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 release candidate. Company executives showed off how developers can leverage the updated development toolkit to create apps that run on Windows, Windows Phone and the Xbox One with little, if any, modification to their code.

"Titanfall," the highly anticipated "system seller," is a hit for the platform. Congratulating the game's developer and publisher, Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts, respectively, Mehdi said the Xbox title "was named the number one selling game in March, according to NPD Group figures released today."

NPD's data also indicates that the Xbox One hasn't completely shut the door on the previous generation of video game systems. "Xbox 360 continues to grow its install base with 111,000 units sold in March in the U.S., more than any other seventh generation console," said Mehdi.

Combined, the Xbox One and Xbox 360 "sold the most games across all console platforms with 4.1 million games sold" last month, accounting for 49 percent of the market, added Mehdi. The Xbox One generated game sales of 1.4 million in March, while the Xbox 360 sold 2.7 million.

Users are also clocking in a lot of couch time. "It's amazing that Xbox One fans are spending an average of five hours per day on Xbox One and collectively have totaled more than one billion hours of time spent in games and apps on the console," stated Mehdi.

Strong sales and user engagement aren't enough to keep the Xbox One out of Sony's shadow. The Japanese electronics maker announced on April 16 that PlayStation 4 sales had surpassed 7 million units worldwide.

The PlayStation 4 is flying off the shelves, according to Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. Noting the console's tendency to sell out at retail, he revealed in a statement that Sony is "still facing difficulties keeping up with the strong demand worldwide." Since launch, more than 20.5 million copies of PlayStation software (physical and digital) have been sold to consumers.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...