Xbox Just Had a Record Month in the U.S.

Posted on July 19, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X with 17 Comments

It’s hard to explain how this happened during a component shortage, but Xbox just had a record month for console sales in the United States.

“June 2021 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories grew 5 percent when compared to a year ago, totaling $4.9 billion,” NPD’s Matt Piscatella tweeted. “First half 2021 consumer spending reached $28.9 billion, a 15 percent increase when compared to the same period in 2020.”

Those are impressive numbers. But when you look at Xbox hardware specifically, you see something even more interesting: Microsoft’s console business delivered 112 percent year-over-year revenue growth to $401 million, a record for the company. The console’s previous revenue high occurred in June 2011.

Yes, that figure places Xbox well below the Nintendo Switch, which generated $4.3 billion in hardware sales (and YOY growth of just 3 percent). But it’s also well ahead of Sony PlayStation, which earned $207 million in revenues in June, a decline of 1 percent YOY.

Of course, hardware is only a small component of the videogame industry’s total revenues: Content (meaning games plus downloadable content, subscriptions, and the like) accounted for $25.4 billion in revenues in the first half of 2021, compared to just $2.3 billion for hardware and $1.2 billion for accessories.

But we’ll take any victory we can get. And while both Sony and Microsoft are clearly suffering from component shortages and could sell many more consoles otherwise, Sony, for now, seems to be taking the brunt of it. At least in the United States.

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Comments (17)

17 responses to “Xbox Just Had a Record Month in the U.S.”

  1. bschnatt

    Awesome. I guess people are still hoping for the Windows Media Center app for XBox. ;) /kidding /wellMostly

    • wolters

      Funny...and while I had to move on to Plex, I truly still do miss Windows Media Center, for a "local" media experience.

    • darkgrayknight

      Well, Media Center was a great bit of software (like Zune was also great--and Windows Phone had some great ideas). I really like using the Xbox as a media/entertainment device. Sure, the TV has its own set of "smarts", but the interface isn't as good as the Xbox interfaces.

      • gelfer

        Hey, just as a curiosity since I was thinking about using my old XboxOne as a way to get Netflix and Disney+ on an older TV, what remote control do you use? Xbox controller is not very useful since it goes into powersaving mode after some minutes.

  2. mcimino

    I was able to snag one on Best Buy the other day. Pick it up this Saturday. Wasn't expecting them to be available, had to refresh their page a few times waiting for them to release stock. Was able to add to cart and checked out as fast as I could. Tried many times before but was unable to snag one. Got lucky this time I guess.

  3. markbyrn

    Artificial scarcity and massive scalping? ?

    • ken10

      I wonder if scalpers are already ramping up for this Christmas since MS has said there will be scarcity into 2022. So... how much of the console sales are to actual users vs. scalper stock.

  4. JE

    Anecdotally it very much seems stock is being diverted to US retail. Over here in Australia there’s barely been a whiff of stock since the initial launch and that was of course minimal. Same situation where you can’t even back order even if you put down a $1m deposit

  5. jdjan

    I managed to bag a series X this month in anticipation of Flight Sim coming out on the 27th. Perhaps they were able to ramp up manufacturing because they can now be bought at retail with a bit of persistence, vs earlier this year when the only option seemed to be through scalpers. (I refuse to pay scalpers)

  6. JacobTheDev

    Pure speculation, but could the xCloud upgrade to Series X's have affected this at all? Just trying to figure out an explanation given that we're still having massive shortages and people are still having monetary issues related to the ongoing pandemic...

    • darkgrayknight

      While I'm sure that would have some impact, chip shortages is actually a crazy long run of issues that have had impact on their availability. Between the reduced tourists, automobile rental shortage, new automobile shortage, extended ship docking times to the USA, shortage of dock workers, chip factory fire, shortage of workers, etc. It is amazing we're starting to see some improvements across the board.

    • JacobTheDev

      Nevermind, I see someone else already commented this! I should really refresh my tabs before commenting ?

  7. Calibr21

    Maybe the xCloud upgrade was consuming a lot of chips and now that it’s complete those chips can be allocated to retail units.

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