Microsoft isn’t “hiding something” by not reporting Xbox One sales figures

2 min read


Last year, Microsoft stopped reporting those juicy sales figures – instead opting to reporting on user engagement metrics. From the outside, it seems like the sort of thing that the losing side might do to soften its own embarrassment.

According to Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, it’s not. Spencer said that Monthly Active Users (MAU) is a greater, more functional indicator of the company’s performance. He says it’s not – as many feel – the company’s way of “hiding something.” Spencer reckons that by publicly sharing active users, it’s “more exposed by picking a number that shows how many people are using our platform.”

“The number of people in the last 30 days that have engaged with an Xbox Live game on either Windows or Xbox 360 or Xbox One is the critical factor for our team to gauge our success, because that’s what our partners want,” he said (via

“Our partners and gamers, they want the largest collection of active gamers who are buying and playing games. That is the health metric of any service that you want to talk about. What’s your monthly active users in the space? It’s not how many consoles I sell. If I sold a console two years ago and now it’s in the closet collecting dust, that’s not good for the gamers.”

It does mean that network issues – like the recent attacks on Xbox Live, make the company look worse than it does by not selling as many consoles as Sony does.

“That’s not great for our MAU count,” he said. “That directly hits us. [So is going] long stretch without having great games on our platform, that will hit MAU. That will negatively impact MAU.’

Last Updated: March 2, 2016

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Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Captain JJ the “saviour”

    They’re not hiding anything, it’s their right to do what they want.
    But they’re probably embarrassed about the figures.

    • Pieter Kruger

      Probably but they shouldn’t be really!

    • Pariah

      They’re probably more embarrassed about the console. 😛

      • Captain JJ the “saviour”


    • Hammersteyn

      They’ll do yet Another 180 if the sales catch up with PS4

    • afterthefaux

      Yeah, probably embarrassed about those 50 million xbox live users. Did you read the article?

      • oVg

        They had 47 million xbox live users before the Bone came out. They sold over 80 million 360s. They ditched half their install base when they made the console mandatory on-line only for the day one patch to activate the console.

        EVERYBODY ran to the pS4. Also the PS4 was released a year before the Bone left America. FAILED so hard.

        Now 2 thirds of PS4 owners never owned a PS3. Hence all the re-makes.

        XBOX GO HOME 😛

        I love console wars.

        P.S. SEGA SUCKS

      • Captain JJ the “saviour”

        Oh crap, sorry, forgot to write
        *NOT SERIOUS COMMENT* at the bottom.

  • Hammersteyn

    They stopped reporting the sales of the XBOX One because they won’t be catching up any time soon and the numbers influences people when deciding which console to buy, plain and simple.

    • Pieter Kruger

      Very true, you must focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.

      • Fox1 – Retro

        Indeed Mista Miyagi.

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          whipe on… whipe off!

  • oVg

    Quantum Break is their last Trump Card and its more niche than Tomb Raider so dont expect great sales. I know, I owned a XBOX 360 for 8 years and all the games that I enjoyed like Playstation centric games (jrpgs) never ever sold well. Or even ALAN WAKE what a fail that was on the 360, It sold well on the PC. 2007-2009 Microsoft KILLED SONY.

    The PC cross Platforming is their only hope.

    Otherwise stick to Bro Shooters and Motor Head games.

    • miaau

      Hi. Nice, calm, objective rant. Extra strength coffee this morning, then?

      What, pray tell, is DOG. Surely you meant GOW?

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        I think he means the COD dog, Riley. #oVgtranslation

      • oVg

        For those who missed it 😛 FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Shut your mouth old man… Gears of War will bring balance to the force!

      • oVg


  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    I don’t blame them, the xbone is massive (you could kill a man with one). It’s embarrassingly huge, like that morbidly-obese guy in the office who insist on wearing tight white pants….

    Microsoft is probably hoping for this gen to be over so that they can release something more visually appealing and sexy. Sadly, microsoft has never had a flair for design, so the Xdeux (Xdough lol) will probably be shaped like a breadbin.

    • oVg

      They lost the race out of the gates. SONY were already a year ahead with a slick design including a power brick. But I dont blame them for starting so late as they were milking the successful 360 and… KINECT needed backing.

  • Nettrick Nowan

    Of course they’re not hiding anything.

    According to Spencer.

    But then, he’s also the guy behind the Kinect lies, too, right?

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