Microsoft has been struggling to keep up with Sony ever since the announcement of the Xbox One, and that doesn't seem to have abated. New information suggests that despite the Xbox One X, PS4 has significantly higher sales figures.
The statistics can be inferred from EA CEO Andrew Wilson, who stated in a conference call:
“Turning to our expectations for fiscal 2019, we expect sales of current-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony to continue to be strong, with the installed base growing to 130 million consoles by the end of calendar 2018 from 103 million at the end of calendar 2017. Nintendo Switch is expected to have built an installed base over 30 million by the end of the calendar year.”
Microsoft doesn't publish its console sales, but the numbers can now be inferred by the end-of-year figure given by Wilson. Sony estimates that it sold 73.4 million PS4s to customers, which puts Xbox One Shipments at 29.4 million. Essentially, it suggests Microsoft's console sold less than half that of Sony's.
In a statement to Variety, Microsoft denied the accuracy of the figures but declined to put the record straight.
“Regardless, we are focused on delivering amazing gaming experiences to players on all devices and engagement is our measure of progress. We just announced a record start to the year with Xbox Live monthly active users up 13% to 59 million,” said a spokesperson.
Though the numbers may not be entirely correct, it's clear that Microsoft is fighting a losing battle this generation. A lack of notable exclusives and a very poor launch make it unlikely the Xbox One will become the top-selling console any time soon. In fact, it feels like the PS4's lead has only grown.
However, that doesn't mean Xbox isn't successful. In its FY18 Q1 earnings report, the company reported a 21% increase in Xbox software and services revenue. Though its hardware sales aren't as strong as some expected, services like Xbox Game Pass have been popular with users.
Microsoft is looking to further capitalize in that area with its new cloud gaming division. Reports suggest that the next Xbox will integrate such technology in a major way. Even with partial cloud support, it could stream levels and weather to users dynamically, reduce download sizes, and more.
Recent job postings even show that the company has plans for mobile, possibly a cross-platform game streaming service. Alongside PC, it hopes to reach up to 2 billion gamers by eliminating the need for expensive hardware.
Given current sales figures and a declining PC market, that could be a big ask, but the rapid change this console generation shows that anything could happen with time.