Xbox One US sales achieved new all-time May high

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Even though Microsoft’s Xbox One is now a distant second behind Sony’s Playstation 4 (which has now sold more than 73.6 million units since launch), May was a very good month for Xbox sales in the US. According to NPD analyst Mat Piscatella, the Xbox One achieved all-time high sales for a May month, beating the previous May 2015 record.

NPD’s data also shows that Sony had the best hardware unit sales in the US in May, as well as the best software sales thanks to hit games God of War and Detroit: Become Human. However, Xbox/Windows 10 exclusive game State of Decay 2 was May’s best-selling title in the US, which is quite impressive considering the game launched on May 22 and was also available through Xbox Games Pass on launch day.

AS Piscatella pointed out in a separate tweet, “subscriptions are likely helping drive full game sales too, it’s not zero sum.” If that’s indeed the case, then Microsoft’s decision to add all future Microsoft Studios titles to Games Pass on launch day was a very good one: it makes the service more valuable for subscribers, and it’s also a good thing for game developers who probably care more about active users than unit sales. That’s also why Microsoft is now focusing more on Xbox Live active users rather than console sales.

We may be slowly approaching the end of the 8th console generation, but the competition between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo may well become much more interesting over the next couple of months. Sony is currently under fire for blocking crossplay on the Playstation 4 versions for games such as Fortnite and Minecraft, and the whole situation could quickly become a PR nightmare for the console maker.

On the other hand, Microsoft has released the most powerful console on the market, and the company deserves credit for pushing crossplay and encouraging a more inclusive video games industry. Xbox Games Pass, which celebrated its first anniversary this month has also often been compared to the “Netflix of video games,” and it increasingly appears to be a must-have service for Xbox One owners. A combination of pure computing power plus a growing list of quality games seems like a pretty good way to fix the early missteps of the Don Mattrick era.