Xbox One is set for a very good year, with the NPD Group reporting a 60% increase in dollar sales this year. Analyst Matt Piscatella puts growth in July at 50%, while the Xbox One S controller generated the most revenue of any accessory.
It follows an uptick in sales this June when the dollar sales almost doubled in comparison to the previously. However, while Microsoft may be gaining on its competitors, there's still a long way to go.
Sony's PS4 remains the top-selling hardware platform for the year-to-date, while the Nintendo Switch was the top-selling hardware platform, had the top-selling game, and was the top publisher.
US NPD HW – Xbox One hardware sales continue to trend higher. Dollar sales grew nearly 50 percent in July and have now increased by more than 60 percent year to date.
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) August 22, 2018
The good news is that there's plenty to go around, with hardware spending growing 19% year-over-year in July. On top of this, Piscatella says year-to-date hardware spending is at the highest since 2011.
Nintendo Dominates Game Sales
Software, however, is another story. Sales of PC, console, and portable software is down 12% since July 2017. Nintendo dominated the best-sellers chart, with half of the top 10 Nintendo-exclusive titles and Octopath Traveller taking first place.
Looking at Xbox One and PS4, GTA V was the best selling title and was the second best-selling overall. It remains a huge cash cow for Rockstar, who released on Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
However, physical sales are just a small portion, with an estimated 21% of games sold in that form in the US in 2017. Xbox is perhaps more focused on digital sales than some, it's Xbox Game Pass offering access to hundreds of titles for a subscription fee. Its backward compatibility service is also a consideration, with many older games no longer sold by retailers in physical form.
Microsoft has further plans to launch a game streaming service in the future, and allegedly a streaming-focused console. It seems physical games will soon be a thing of the past.
Still, it's clear that Xbox exclusives aren't selling as well as PS4 alternatives. Microsoft is working on this with its ‘The Initiative Studio' which recently hired former Red Dead Redemption, God of War, and Tomb Raider talent.
In the coming years, it will be interesting to see how this affect's Xbox's game sales, and if the Switch's meteoric rise will continue.