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Microsoft stops reporting Xbox console unit sales, shifting focus to Xbox Live active users

Microsoft is making a serious change to the way in which it studies outcomes for its Xbox enterprise — ending its longstanding observe of reporting Xbox unit gross sales every quarter, and as a substitute offering the variety of active month-to-month Xbox Live users every quarter.

The change began with Microsoft’s quarterly earnings report on Thursday. Xbox officers say it creates “a extra correct view of engagement on our platform.” Nonetheless, the choice to cease reporting Xbox unit gross sales additionally makes it harder to immediately evaluate the Xbox with Sony’s PlayStation franchise — which is thus far main this console era in unit gross sales — and Nintendo’s Wii methods.

Some third-party websites and analysts present gross sales estimates, however quarterly unit gross sales reported by the console makers have been probably the most authoritative measure.

Not less than for the second, the variety of active users displays a extra constructive pattern for Microsoft to cite. For the September quarter, the corporate mentioned Xbox Live month-to-month active users rose to 39 million, up 28 % from about 30 million in the identical quarter a yr in the past, in accordance to Microsoft’s monetary outcomes.

Right here’s the assertion from Microsoft’s Xbox group in regards to the change.

We have now been delivering a service-centric method for the Xbox enterprise for a while and now have Xbox companies obtainable throughout Home windows 10 units. Our measurement for fulfillment is concentrated on attain with extremely active followers on Xbox as a key driver for monetization. As you’ve seen, we’ve change into extra targeted on reporting on utilization for a while in our public bulletins. We’ve seen robust and regular development in engagement year-over-year. Beginning as we speak with Q1 earnings this will likely be mirrored with a key metric reported for Xbox being month-to-month active users on Xbox Live. We are going to proceed to speak about different drivers of the enterprise in earnings supplies as ordinary. We adjusted how we measure and outline Xbox Live users to slender the definition to solely have a look at users who’ve signed in to Xbox Live previously month. We imagine it’ll present a extra correct view of engagement on our platform. Different firms measure engagement this manner as nicely.

And right here is the abstract of the quarter from Microsoft’s 10Q filing.

Gaming income elevated barely, as development in income from Xbox Live and video video games was offset partly by decrease Xbox {hardware} income. Xbox Live income elevated 17%, pushed by each increased volumes of transactions and income per transaction. Video video games income grew 66%, pushed by gross sales of Minecraft. We acquired Mojang AB, the Swedish online game developer of the Minecraft gaming franchise, in November 2014. Xbox {hardware} income decreased 17%, primarily due to decrease volumes of Xbox 360 consoles offered.

The change within the reporting observe is in keeping with what Phil Spencer, the top of Xbox, said during a recent interview at the GeekWire Summit, when requested for his tackle Sony’s lead in total unit gross sales.

“You’ll hear me speak quite a bit much less in regards to the competitors,” Spencer told us at the time. “Folks will say, you’re shedding so in fact you’re not going to deliver that up. Perhaps we’ll take a look at it sometime. If I’m profitable, I believe I’ll keep in the identical swim lane. It’s actually in regards to the product that we now have, the options that we add, and the way we deal with the purchasers of our field.”
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