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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