EA might have revealed secret Xbox One sales figures

EA executive revealed internal research that suggests there are under 20 million Xbox Ones in the wild.

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Daniel Cooper
January 29, 2016 2:39 PM
EA might have revealed secret Xbox One sales figures

We know that Sony has sold 35 million PlayStation 4s, but Microsoft won't talk about how well its rival device is doing. A dignified silence is the stance you normally take when things aren't going too well, but a third party might just have let the key details slip. Eurogamer was listening to Electronic Arts' most recent conference call when CFO Blake Jorgensen revealed the firm's internal sales estimate for the current console generation. According to him, there are 55 million units out in the wild, and simple subtraction tells us that less than 20 million of those are Xbox Ones. We asked Microsoft about the figure, and it came back with a "no comment," as expected.

Q: Can you talk about whether you guys are helping to fund that or if that's something that Amazon is just kind of taking on their own. And how you think that could potentially impact digital sales, since those are primarily for physical discs. Thanks.

A: Blake Jorgensen - Electronic Arts Inc. - CFO- On the macro environment, we've mentioned a couple of times our caution because of the macro environment. We have not seen anything in our business or heard anything from other players in the business that would imply any economic slowdown in entertainment software.

As I said, we have a level of conservatism about just the global economy, which at some point in time, there's trouble in the global economy that would impact everybody probably. I think our business seems to be operating pretty consistently, as it has been over the last couple of years. The console purchases up through the end of calendar year 2015, our estimate is 55 million units out there, which has exceeded virtually everyone's forecast for the year, and is now almost 50% higher than the previous console cycle.

So all of that is very, very positive; all the gameplay we are seeing and the engagement in things like Ultimate Team we're seeing as positive. We're just conscious of the fact that there's a lot of storm clouds out there and we want to be careful that we don't get ahead of ourselves or the economy in our forecast for the business. And that's what you are hearing.

What does this tell us about the current state of console gaming? Probably not that much, since it was something of an open secret that Sony was "winning" at this point in the console wars. Microsoft's console was described as a "fast and powerful work in progress" when it launched, while the PlayStation 4 was much more polished. In addition, Microsoft was forced to pull plenty of features at the last-minute after fans balked at its higher price (Kinect) and policies on second hand games. Then again, 15 million consoles is hardly an impossible figure to claw back, and the Xbox One has been improving with every release.

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