UPDATED: Microsoft sold about 30 million Xbox One consoles by the end of 2017, compared to the 73 million-plus PlayStations sold during roughly the same period, according to numbers released by EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen.
In a statement sent to Variety, Microsoft said those sales numbers were inaccurate, but declined to say how they were inaccurate or by how much.
“The projections are inaccurate,” a spokesperson told Variety. “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.”
The numbers were released during an earnings call earlier this week and require a slight bit of math and digging to reveal Microsoft’s Xbox sales numbers, something Microsoft itself hasn’t been talking about now for nearly four years.
While discussing the overall state of the game industry and EA’s expectations for the coming year, Jorgensen went over the expectations the company has for Microsoft and Sony console sales, and what sold last year.
“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,” he said.
While he didn’t break down the split between the two companies, it’s not hard to figure that out. In January, PlayStation announced its worldwide sales as of the end of 2017.
“The PS4 has now cumulatively sold through more than 73.6 million units globally as of December 31, 2017,” the company said in the statement.
That leaves 29.4 million Xbox Ones to fill the gap between Sony’s announced 73.6 million PS4 sold and Jorgensen’s comment that 103 million “current-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony” sold at the end of 2017.
This is the second time EA has outed Xbox One sales. In January 2016, EA said during an earnings call that about 18 million to 19 million of the consoles had been sold. That means in the past two years or so, Microsoft sold another 10 million to 11 million consoles, a shocking drop from the previous number. That’s also likely why Microsoft is no longer officially releasing those sales figures. However, that’s not quite what the company told Variety.
It’s worth noting that EA also expects current-gen consoles to hit 130 million by the end of this year, up 27 million. Given the previous split of sales, it seems likely that the Nintendo Switch, which Jorgensen said the company expects will hit 30 million in sales by the end of this year, will be neck and neck with the Xbox One.
The low sales figure doesn’t mean that Microsoft is giving up on the console. In fact, the company recently starting looking to hire for what appears to be a new studio designed to create entirely new games.
Jorgensen went on to say that EA expects PC gaming software growth to be mostly flat and that the mobile market, which has exploded recently in terms of big, popular, flash games, will grow into the “mid-teens” this year.
Correction: This story originally misattributed the comments to CEO Andrew Wilson, when they were made by CFO Jake Jorgensen.
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