Microsoft has officially revealed the Xbox console platform's full install base as of 2021 as part of new arguments against the UK's Competition Markets Authority regulatory body.
The CMA, which is basically the UK's version of the FTC, is directly challenging the Microsoft-Activision merger. Now Microsoft has fired back with an in-depth 38-page document making a case on why the $70 billion merger with Activision should be approved. While most of the information in the filing is redacted, we do get some very interesting data regarding consoles.
According to Microsoft, the Xbox console platform currently has an installed base of 63.7 million systems as of 2021. This excludes PCs and mobiles, which are now part of the Xbox ecosystem. PlayStation is "ahead of Xbox in all relevant metrics," Microsoft says.
Sony is the market leader for consoles and has been for over 20 years. Its PlayStation platform is ahead of Xbox in all relevant metrics (as is Nintendo).
- PlayStation's installed base of consoles (151.4 million in 2021) is more than double the size of Xbox's (63.7 million in 2021).
Microsoft also notes that PlayStation has an installed base of 151.4 million systems. This figure does not match up with the data that Sony has provided regarding PS4 and PS5 shipments.
As of December 31, 2021, the PS4 had shipped 117.1 million units, whereas the PS5 had shipped 17.3 million units. Both PS4 and PS5 shipments combined for this period is 134.4 million units. So where did Microsoft get the other 17 million units?
The only thing that makes sense is the inclusion of other active PlayStation hardware, which may include PlayStation VR, PlayStation 3, and even PlayStation Vita handhelds, which are potentially collectively all categorized as part of the PlayStation hardware ecosystem.
It's important to remember that Xbox figures also include Xbox Series X/S sales, too.
Microsoft told Brazilian regulators at CADE that the PlayStation 4 has sold twice as many Xbox One consoles. A quick bit of math showed that the Xbox One platform had sold less than 58.6 million units worldwide.