New court documents have confirmed that Sony’s PS4 console sold “twice as many” units as Microsoft’s Xbox One during last-gen’s “console wars”.
Confirmation comes via Brazilian court papers wherein Microsoft is defending its acquisition of Activision Blizzard in front of the Brazilian competition authority, CADE.
As spotted by GameLuster and translated via Google Translate – so bear with me; this may not be a 100 per cent word-for-word translation – page 17/18 (paragraph 46) of Microsoft’s own published court papers state that “Sony has surpassed Microsoft in terms of console sales and installed [sic] base, having sold more than twice as many Xbox [One units] in the last generation”.
Back in January, Sony confirmed that more than 116m PS4 consoles have now been sold worldwide, and recently gave a lifetime sales total of 117.2 million, making it one of the most successful consoles of all time, if not quite eclipsing its most popular system, PS2. And while Microsoft has been more reticent about its sales figures, if the claims in the Brazillian court papers are right, that means Microsoft’s Xbox One system could have sold around half that amount: somewhere in the region of 50-60 million.
Interestingly, the legal paperwork also gives us insight into Microsoft’s own perceived market position, and its desire to push the “gamer-centric” Xbox Game Pass rather than compete directly against Sony’s new-gen hardware, refuting claims that the “inclusion of Activision Blizzard content in the Xbox Game Pass catalogue would represent a ‘tipping point’ in the market”.
Microsoft also details its deliberate decision to “mov[e] away from a strategy of ‘device-centric’ business towards a more consumer-centric” or “gamer-centric” service, like its subscription.
It also specifically uses the term “console wars”, intimating that “due to brand loyalty”, Xbox is unlikely to compete successfully with Sony’s hardware even in the next/current-gen cycle as “PlayStation will continue to have a strong market position”.