Just how many Xbox One consoles did Microsoft sell in the US in January 2014?

Last week, Microsoft decided not to reveal the exact number of Xbox One consoles it sold in the U.S. in January 2014, something the company did announce for both November and December 2013. However, Microsoft might have offered up enough clues in its press release to allow anyone to come up with the January sales number, if they also know where to look for historical information.

The biggest clue was when Microsoft said:

Comparatively, Xbox One consoles have sold at a rate of 2.29 times faster than Xbox 360 in the U.S. in the same time frame for the first three months on the market.

As we mentioned, Microsoft has already revealed that, according to figures from the NPD Group, the Xbox One sold 909,132 hardware units in November, the first month of its launch, in the U.S and 908,000 units in December, for a total of 1,817,132 for the first two months of the console's launch.

The final clues come from historical data from the NPD Group for the Xbox 360 console. Back in January 2006, NPD said that Microsoft had sold 600,000 Xbox 360 consoles for all of 2005. The console launched in November 2005 with 326,000 units sold in the US, and in December it sold an additional 274,000 units. In February 2006, NPD said that 250,000 Xbox 360 consoles were sold in the US in January, for a total of 850,000 hardware units sold for its first three months.

So, in theory, we should be able to figure out just how many Xbox One consoles were sold in January in the U.S. with these clues and some simple math.  If you multiply 850,000 by 2.29, the rate Microsoft claims the Xbox One outsold the Xbox 360 for the first three months of their respective launches, you get 1,946,500, which should be the total number of Xbox One consoles sold in November and December of 2013 and January of 2014

Finally, if you subtract 1,817,132 (the confirmed total number of Xbox One consoles sold in November and December) from 1,946,500, you get 129,368, which should be the amount of Xbox One consoles sold in the U.S. in January 2014, based on NPD's historical numbers and Microsoft's own "2.29 times" declaration.

If the numbers are accurate, that is a rather large drop between December 2013 and January 2014. While a lower number was expected, due to the end of the holiday shopping season, it is also lower than the 250,000 units of the Xbox 360 console that sold in January 2006.

Month Xbox 360 units sold in US in first three months Xbox One units sold in US in first three months
November 326,000 (NPD) - 2005 919,132 (NPD and Microsoft) - 2013
December 274,000 (NPD) - 2005 908,000 (NPD and Microsoft) - 2013
January 250,000 (NPD) - 2006 129,368 (estimated) - 2014
Total 850,000 (NPD) 1,946,500 (estimated)

The 129,368 unit sales figure also gives us a clue as to how many of Sony's PlayStation 4 consoles sold in the U.S. in January. According to journalist Geoff Keighley via Twitter, Sony told him that sales for the PS4 last month were nearly double "the nearest next gen competitor." That means the PS4 might have sold around 250,000 units for the time period.

Neowin contacted Microsoft to see if they wished to comment on our extrapolation of the Xbox One sales figures. However, the response from their official spokesperson was pretty clear. "We have nothing to share beyond what was included in last week’s announcement." Neowin has also contacted the NPD Group for comment but so far they have not responded, despite multiple attempts by us to contact the firm.

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That one big fall back, anyway, when Sony stated that they sold nearly the double, I tought they ment "a lot". But the double of 120k consoles in 1 month time, is still not that much. I've my doubts by those estimated figures, however.

Dear god people have NO perspective. Selling around 3.5 million consoles in a couple of months was unheard of in previous launches. Just because the PS4 is selling better does not diminish how well the Xbox one has sold which would be the second fastest selling console at launch in console history.

Once they launch in more than 13 territories it will start selling more globally. The Xbox one does not have to sell more than the PS4 to be considered a success and be fully supported by 3rd parties and MS.

Console sales are not some meta game for console fanboys to play. Once you have bought one as long as the company stays in business and it is supported by 3rd parties then sales don;t matter to the end user. MS is not going out of business anytime soon and are in much better shape financially then Sony or Nintendo and 3rd parties will support the Xbox one if only because of this factor as MS will put money behind the Xbox one to ensure a good game library and good 3rd party support.

@swanlee,

You are exactly right. This number game is always around anywhere. Xbox One totally sells adequately to be a success despite people saying that $100 more is going to make it fail.

Exactly. I want to buy both a PS4 and an X1 once they get their firmware in order and have more games. Only thing that scares me is Sonys dire financial situation, but they will PROBABLY still be around in four or five years

Considering this article: http://www.extremetech.com/gam...-sits-pretty-at-3-6-million and historical sales of the xbox 360 which didn't drop nearly as much, I think the business types who wrote the press release stating 2.29 times sales made a math error.

Perhaps someone reported 229% greater sales than the xbox 360, and some stupid buisness type thought it would sound better if they said 2.29 times sales.... when they should have said 3.29 times to equal "229% more".

If we assume this, then the math works out different: 3.29* (xbox 360 sales) = 2.80e6 and subtracting off 1.9465e6 for (Nov-Dec) we get 850000 xBox ones sold in Jan, and 3.64 million total. 850000 makes much more sense considering historical data, and it's much closer to extremetech's estimate of 600000. The total of 3.64 million is also close to extremetech's estimate of 3.6 million --> which they came to from a different method.

Since we can get similar results from different methods, we can have some confidence in the results. 850000 vs. 600000 sales in Jan. is within the margin for error in these estimates, and since our estimate is based on the oddly specific 2.29 -> actually 3.29 number from Microsoft, perhaps it's closer to the true number.

Edited by a1ien, Feb 20 2014, 4:45pm :

That's a good observation to note but it doesn't change anything -> therefore our xbox estimate is for the US and the global numbers are larger. We should compare 3.6 million Xboxes to the number of PS4s sold in the US -> less than the 5.3 million PS4s sold globally.

Not exactly - we're assuming that somebody at Microsoft made a mistake and no one has caught it or admitted to it yet. Considering the source is a blog post, the mistake could be from a single point of failure, hardly implicating all of Microsoft.

I don't care about all of this (personally), I just think we need more content on the X1. ...and they need to open up the OS so it's more flexible/friendly to external storage and device streaming.

Defiantly said,
I don't care about all of this (personally), I just think we need more content on the X1. ...and they need to open up the OS so it's more flexible/friendly to external storage and device streaming.

Word!

I really don't see this situation improving for Xbox. The only killer game it's getting is Titanfall. Unless they have some killer games at E3 (that are coming out within the year), then the next big title will be Halo 5. Recent news are pointing that it won't even be out till 2015.

As far as the PS4, I see a similar case, b/c it's having similar issues.

Concerning multi-platform titles, right now, PS4 is superior to Xbox in all of them. Games on PS4 run at 1080p/60fps, and are degraded on the Xbox One. This is a problem hopefully MS will be able to address (w/ the update that is supposed to drop the 10% usage by Kinect) and with further optimizations to the Xbox OS.

That being said, this is nothing new to when new consoles come out. They always have slim pickings on launch titles, but eventually, the games start pumping out.

greensabath said,
I really don't see this situation improving for Xbox. The only killer game it's getting is Titanfall. Unless they have some killer games at E3 (that are coming out within the year), then the next big title will be Halo 5. Recent news are pointing that it won't even be out till 2015.

As far as the PS4, I see a similar case, b/c it's having similar issues.

Concerning multi-platform titles, right now, PS4 is superior to Xbox in all of them. Games on PS4 run at 1080p/60fps, and are degraded on the Xbox One. This is a problem hopefully MS will be able to address (w/ the update that is supposed to drop the 10% usage by Kinect) and with further optimizations to the Xbox OS.

That being said, this is nothing new to when new consoles come out. They always have slim pickings on launch titles, but eventually, the games start pumping out.

Do you know how much Titanfall would cost if one were to buy an Xbox One just to play that game? It would cost $499 + $60 = $559.

The question is: Would people who already spent $399 + cost for PS4 games, shell out $550+ more dollars just to play Titanfall?

VictorWho said,

Do you know how much Titanfall would cost if one were to buy an Xbox One just to play that game? It would cost $499 + $60 = $559.

The question is: Would people who already spent $399 + cost for PS4 games, shell out $550+ more dollars just to play Titanfall?

The better question is: Will people that did not buy a console yet find that appealing.

Multiplatform next gen owners will be a huge minority for quite some time thanks to the costs involved. Only a few of us crazy early adopters exist right now

VictorWho said,

Do you know how much Titanfall would cost if one were to buy an Xbox One just to play that game? It would cost $499 + $60 = $559.

The question is: Would people who already spent $399 + cost for PS4 games, shell out $550+ more dollars just to play Titanfall?

Don't forget the $60 needed for Live just so you play the game you bought.

benthebear said,

Don't forget the $60 needed for Live just so you play the game you bought.

Except no one pays $60 for live. There are always deals on 12 month live subscriptions, Major Neilson posts on twitter often, heck yesterday they were going for $30.

VictorWho said,

Do you know how much Titanfall would cost if one were to buy an Xbox One just to play that game? It would cost $499 + $60 = $559.

The question is: Would people who already spent $399 + cost for PS4 games, shell out $550+ more dollars just to play Titanfall?

That depends if the person wants to play Titanfall. Wasn't it just last week when it was said that someone bought an iPhone for 90,000 because it had flappy bird on it? A person doesn't necessarily buy a console just to play a game, the person has to already be planning on buy the console anyway IMO. (Or at least a console in general)

And if I was on the fence, and there was a game coming out for a particular console and I wanted that game, that probably would tilt me toward buying that console.

BTW, you 559.99 logic just to play Titan Fall is flawed. That's like saying because I needed transportation to get to work, and decided to buy me a Mercedes instead of a Ford Escort, that I spent 50+ thousand dollars just to get to work as if there is nothing else that I can do with the new car besides drive to work.

VictorWho said,

Do you know how much Titanfall would cost if one were to buy an Xbox One just to play that game? It would cost $499 + $60 = $559.

The question is: Would people who already spent $399 + cost for PS4 games, shell out $550+ more dollars just to play Titanfall?

People do it all the time. Most people i know at least dont buy a console and assume thats the only one they are getting because they are so fanboy over it. They just hold off till that game they want comes out. You also can have confidence other games will come out in its life span you will purchase as well so you wont just be spending 559 on titanfall its like a future investment.

George P said,

Except no one pays $60 for live. There are always deals on 12 month live subscriptions, Major Neilson posts on twitter often, heck yesterday they were going for $30.
Think about the average consumer. They know nothing about Twitter messages about Live costs nor Major Nelson. They walk into Walmart/Gamestop/etc, see the card for Live and buy it for full retail price more often than not. So, "no one" is a tad hyperbolic.

To be fair, the PS4 requires a similarly priced subscription to play anything online. But I don't play online and thus will be skipping Titanfall. Donkey Kong Country FTW

It would be good to see how the PS4 did in comparison.

Also, could this not be that because the initial sales were so much higher than the 360's and overall in this time span? From Launch onwards (not including holiday periods) sales are always going to be lower as time goes on. Sure there will be peaks from time to time but I wouldn't have thought this to be that suprising.

At the end of the day, it has sold over twice as many as the 360 did in the same period so MS should still be happy with that.

Hold on, is anyone surprised by this? The console market isn't as big as people think, both systems saw a large drop after the massive holiday rush from November and December. While these numbers might not be spot on they're back to the norm that we're used to for the US market more or less. The fact Sony also didn't bother to give out a solid number means they also saw a huge drop.

Overall I expect this lower monthly numbers to stay the case till the next holidays.

Why don't you read what he said. Sony declined to reveal their figures for January too.

They sold 5.3 million worldwide which btw includes almost twice as many countries as the Xbox One.

Sony is still dealing with supply constraints too. There have been two events for the PS4 on Jan. 19th and as of recent: Feb 16th just for people to get their hands on them at Best Buy alone. (at least in the Houston region where they're still largely sold out)

-Razorfold said,
Why don't you read what he said. Sony declined to reveal their figures for January too.

They sold 5.3 million worldwide which btw includes almost twice as many countries as the Xbox One.

It's 13 versus 48, more than twice...

January and beyond should give a true indication of sales now that those people who would have bought anything regardless have got theirs. Very worrying for Microsoft that they cant even declare numbers for their primary territory. I can only imagine how much worse the ROW figures are.

That's a huge drop. Ouch for Microsoft. Seeing as this generation is not going to last nearly as long as the last one, Microsoft needs to do something and do it quick.

For at least this time I can agree. I think the problem is cost. Not enough diverse purchasing options. Not every1 can readily drop $500 on a system. They need a basic option with just a console and Joypad, minus the Kinect. I just don't see the Kinect as a worthwhile option. The games made for the last model sucked for the most part, though I enjoyed 2 of the games playing with my wife. But overall the accuracy was a bit rough at times and the games overall are boring.

I did enjoy Kinect Adventures and a Home Run game I downloaded.

Console+joypad+game = $399 and the sales would pick up.
Console+joypad = $299 and sales would pick up.

If MS wants to sell this thing and get 360 buyers to switch when the One doesn't offer any backwards compatibility, the price is going to have to drop. Which is exactly what they did with the 360 to get it to sell.

Hi_XPecTa_Chens said,
For at least this time I can agree. I think the problem is cost. Not enough diverse purchasing options. Not every1 can readily drop $500 on a system. They need a basic option with just a console and Joypad, minus the Kinect. I just don't see the Kinect as a worthwhile option. The games made for the last model sucked for the most part, though I enjoyed 2 of the games playing with my wife. But overall the accuracy was a bit rough at times and the games overall are boring.

I did enjoy Kinect Adventures and a Home Run game I downloaded.

Console+joypad+game = $399 and the sales would pick up.
Console+joypad = $299 and sales would pick up.

If MS wants to sell this thing and get 360 buyers to switch when the One doesn't offer any backwards compatibility, the price is going to have to drop. Which is exactly what they did with the 360 to get it to sell.

Exactly. I think the $100 difference is a lot for a console that doesn't offer much more. Again, people aren't looking at specs as much as games.

And Microsoft really dropped the ball with Kinect and almost no launch games to showcase it's capabilities.

stevan said,

Exactly. I think the $100 difference is a lot for a console that doesn't offer much more. Again, people aren't looking at specs as much as games.

And Microsoft really dropped the ball with Kinect and almost no launch games to showcase it's capabilities.

Agree 100%. After using a lack for a better term, dropping the ball on the original Kinect, I just don't see the Kinect 2 being a must have.

No matter how much they claim the tech has gotten better which I am sure it has, without showing us how much better, is a non seller. I did purchase the Day One system and backed out 2 days prior.

Having to go out and buy all new games was a big turn off. Forcing the Kinect on me was also a turnoff as I rather have the option to buy.

I don't have a problem with XBL Gold as I am already a member. But the offering for $499 was just not worthy of my hard earned dollar just yet. Also, why jump at the first an only option. Oh and another reason I waited. I am hoping for the white to be come an option. With all the white gadgets we have in the house, my wife has a white iPad 3, the kid with his white iPad Mini and my white Note and her S4 all in white. White is out new black and I want to keep it in the family :-)

Scabrat said,
They are doing something. Titanfall. =)

What about Titanfall? It could be good and it could be horrible, it will be the companies first game and although a couple of their guys were behind Call of Duty is that how you think MS should differentiate the Xbox, with more of the same?

Sonne said,

What about Titanfall? It could be good and it could be horrible, it will be the companies first game and although a couple of their guys were behind Call of Duty is that how you think MS should differentiate the Xbox, with more of the same?

What about it? Its fun! =) And, its not more of the same. Its very different atmosphere. Gun recoil and style might be the same but thats about it. Look at it. Its pretty cool and I think it will sell very well. AND move consoles =).

Jarrichvdv said,
Such a enormous fallback. Didn't know holiday season was going to make such a big difference.

Holiday sales usually eat into the sales of the six months that follow it. Sony saw a similar drop. Which is why both are reluctant to share such figures.

Ronnet said,

Holiday sales usually eat into the sales of the six months that follow it. Sony saw a similar drop. Which is why both are reluctant to share such figures.

sony's console is sold out and only stay in stock before selling out again. Amazon uk won't be getting more stock until march 18th. Sony is selling ever console they can make and yet it has still sold more than microsoft that has been in stock since jan 3rd ish in uk.

torrentthief said,

sony's console is sold out and only stay in stock before selling out again. Amazon uk won't be getting more stock until march 18th. Sony is selling ever console they can make and yet it has still sold more than microsoft that has been in stock since jan 3rd ish in uk.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't claim that Microsoft is selling anywhere near Sony's numbers. I'm jusy saying that a decline from selling near a million to above 100,000 isn't as extreme as it seems for this period of the year. Sony is indeed outselling MS at least 2:1.

And rightfully so, I might add. I'm an Xbox fan myself but Microsoft simply has a worse offering this time around. Higher priced, slightly lower specs and a Kinect that has yet to proof its added value.