Home Gaming 18 million Xbox Ones have been “activated”

18 million Xbox Ones have been “activated”

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Late last year, Microsoft decided it would stop focusing so much on the sales numbers of its new console, to instead focus on different metrics, like Xbox Live subscriptions as a measure of its success. Of course, that’s the sort of thing those who’re losing a sales race are likely to do

“We want to report on a monthly basis engagement and usage of the most-engaged Xbox players and we want to focus on bringing the highest amount of people to the console that we can. And the Xbox One is the fastest-selling Xbox console that we’ve had,” Microsoft said in November.

What that means, of course, is that Microsoft will, for the foreseeable future, be a bit tight-lipped about how many of those obsidian monoliths have been sold through to consumers. We now have a fair idea, thanks to Windows guru Mary Jo Foley, who’s surmised that roughly 18 million Xbox Ones have been “activated.”

Speaking on the Windows Weekly podcast, Foley estimates that “around 18 million” Xbox Ones are in consumers’ hands. The estimate, Foley says, comes from an anonymous source and refers specifically to units that are running Windows 10, and have been online within the last 28 or so days. That leaves a perhaps not entirely statistically insignificant number of Xboxes that could be largely offline, or not yet updated to run the latest Xbox One operating. Given how “connected” the new consoles are, it’s safe to assume that most Xbox Ones that have been sold to consumers are online.

If that’s true, it means that the PlayStation 4 – which we recently learned has sold through 36 million units – still leads the Xbox One by a two to one ratio, despite the Xbox One’s change in marketing messages and pricing. The upside though, is that it’s no longer PlayStation 4: Xbox One

Last Updated: January 11, 2016

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  1. Mistake Not...

    January 11, 2016 at 12:31

    Sounds like a conspiracy. “18 million activations have been achieved worldwide.”


    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

      January 11, 2016 at 12:45

      With a disclaimer that says, “These devices are not used to gather activity patterns on our users using the kinect bundle at all, seriously, we don’t”


      • coip

        January 11, 2016 at 22:48

        Oh look, another anti-Kinect ignoramus. How novel.


        • Hammersteyn

          January 12, 2016 at 07:33

          Kinect is the bestestest


          • coip

            January 14, 2016 at 08:48

            Absolutely. It is, by far, the best depth-sensing, motion-controlled camera peripheral on the market. It’s incredibly cheap for the technology it provides.

        • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

          January 12, 2016 at 07:54

          Yeah… say what you want about the kinect, it’s a fad… nothing more than gimmicky piece of hardware that never really made an impact, for the few early adopters that learnt their lesson, it was amazing, for the first week….


          • coip

            January 12, 2016 at 08:32

            There is nothing “gimmicky” about a revolutionary device that has spawned new genres of video games, enabled disabled gamers to play games when they otherwise couldn’t, assisted surgeons in surgery, aided physical therapists in the rehabilitation of stroke victims, made possible communication between deaf people and non-deaf people with real-time sign language translation, encouraged fitness among otherwise inactive youth, conducted symphonies, facilitated 3D printing and robotics development, assisted blind people with obstacle detection, enabled shoppers to virtually try on clothes, offered small businesses an inexpensive solution to turn any surface into ‘touchscreens’, detected PTSD in soldiers, and improved brain imaging, among countless other contributions to society. Honestly, you just come off as a huge tool.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            January 12, 2016 at 08:48

            So you read this article too then?


            I would also like to inform you that some of the aspects covered in said article had been done before, the benefit of the kinect is that it is relatively inexpensive, allowing the basic building blocks for the devices needed for said applications to be more readily available to the general public, which makes it a breakthrough in industrialisation, not technology, if, for example, 3D printers could use harder substances, robotic prosthetics would become more readily available, which is an adaptation of an existing technology, one that has been around for much longer than you might actually be aware… But let’s not quarrel and bicker about this, I’d much rather buy you a beer, you seem tense…

          • coip

            January 12, 2016 at 16:00

            No, I’ve never read that article before. I get all my Kinect information from the official blog, which has tracked most Kinect innovation over the past several years: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/kinectforwindows/

            It doesn’t matter if some of the stuff had been done before. Your claim was that Kinect was “gimmicky”. It is nothing of the sort: it has brought about or facilitated numerous advancements that have improved the lives of many people. That’s the opposite of a gimmick. Your rejoinder (that Kinect is an inexpensive alternative to facilitate existing technologies) is a non-sequitur. Furthermore, many of the innovations Kinect brought about had not been done before.

            If I seem tense it is because I have had to wade through ignorant, anti-Kinect comments by my fellow gamers and ‘professional’ game journalists alike for years and watch as they collectively retarded progress with their bizarre neo-Luddism.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            January 13, 2016 at 09:16

            “It doesn’t matter if some of the stuff had been done before.”

            “Furthermore, many of the innovations Kinect brought about had not been done before.”
            Using these two statements in the same argument has a way of proving to be contradictory… This is the true meaning of non sequitur, where absurdity outweighs reason.
            I still stand by my opinion of the Kinect being gimmicky.

          • coip

            January 13, 2016 at 15:51

            “Using these two statements in the same argument has a way of proving to be contradictory.”

            Not at all. The first one states that your argument is irrelevant. The second states that, even if you want to continue with that fallacy, it’s wrong anyway.

            “I still stand by my opinion of the Kinect being gimmicky.”
            Either you’re being obnoxiously obstinate or you still don’t understand what the word ‘gimmicky’ means. I’ve already explained, with a smorgasbord of real-life examples, how the Kinect is the exact opposite of ‘gimmicky’. All you’ve done is doubled-down on your unsubstantiated, uninformed opinion. You can continue to cling to your false assertion, despite its disconnection from reality, but that doesn’t change reality: Kinect is a revolutionary and innovative product that has aided all sorts of peoples and industries.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            January 13, 2016 at 16:09

            Are you still on about this? Really? Have you benefited from any of it’s applications? If you did, good, excellent, I’m glad for you.

          • coip

            January 13, 2016 at 17:07

            Yes, I’m still “on” about this and forever will be, because I’m sick of ignoramuses trying to disparage an innovative and helpful device like Kinect, with their biases and bizarre, neo-Luddism clouding their judgment.

            Yes, I benefited from it greatly. So did many other people. Ergo, it’s not gimmicky.

          • Hammersteyn

            January 14, 2016 at 07:48

            So why then did people demand they flip the switch and not make the Kinect mandatory anymore? Motion controls still have a long ass way to go before they can be properly implemented. Example below


          • coip

            January 14, 2016 at 08:41

            Some people complained because some people don’t like motion-controlled games and bundling Kinect with Xbox One was driving the price up on the Xbox One. That’s why.

            Motion controls actually already work extremely well when implemented properly. Cherry-picking out a terrible game and trying to pass it off as the norm is know as the ‘exception proves the rule’ fallacy. I can cite thousands of terrible non-Kinect games too. Doing so is meaningless.
            Instead, one should look at instances where developers excelled with Kinect and the genres they’re in. For example, Child of Eden (rail shooter), Fantasia: Music Evolved (music), Dance Central (dance), Xbox Fitness (fitness), Dark Dreams Don’t Die (detective action-adventure), Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 (party), etc. In all of those instances, the games are excellent games in which Kinect controls work well and improve the genre in ways that controllers or mice and keyboards cannot, offering way more immersion and interactivity. Those are all excellent pieces of evidence that demonstrate that Kinect not only works but can be better than the status quo. Why so many phony gamers and pseudo-journalists were so intimidated by that concept that they had to go on an endless rampage of disparaging Kinect is beyond me. No one was going to take away their first-person shooters. People are weird. And now the industry is worse off for it.

          • Hammersteyn

            January 14, 2016 at 07:51

            Just one feature for me. “XBOX Off”

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            January 14, 2016 at 08:10

            HAHAHA!! Yes!!

          • coip

            January 14, 2016 at 08:45

            “Xbox Off” is not a valid voice command. The command is “Xbox, turn off. Yes.” You’re revealing yourself.

  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    January 11, 2016 at 12:36

    Maths! HL3 Confirmed!


    • Original Heretic

      January 11, 2016 at 12:58

      Didn’t the lead writer resign from Valve?


  3. Hammersteyn

    January 11, 2016 at 12:57

  4. RinceThis

    January 11, 2016 at 13:02

    Can’t you ‘active’ on a PC though?


  5. Dawid Eduard Roestorf

    January 11, 2016 at 13:06

    I doubt these figures are accurate. Last numbers they released they have not even sold 15million to the shops, now they have sold through 18million. Highly unlikely


    • Hammersteyn

      January 11, 2016 at 13:11

      I’d like to remain anonymous as well if I made that claim


      • Dawid Eduard Roestorf

        January 11, 2016 at 13:20


        I know how the guy got that figure. If the person owns an xbox one and a pc running windows 10, that = 2. So the number of activated x1’s is roughly at least 9mil minimum, lets say 13mil to be safe 😛


        • Hammersteyn

          January 11, 2016 at 13:35



  6. oVg

    January 11, 2016 at 13:49

    So what he means is, SOLD, considering the brick only works once the mandatory update unlocks the console.


  7. iusedtobe(a)regular

    January 11, 2016 at 14:25

    Sooooooo thats just less than 3 million units sold over the Christmas season against PS4’s 5 million+? Wait a minute, wasnt this suppose to be the greatest holiday lineup in Xbox history?


  8. Pieter Kruger

    January 11, 2016 at 14:58

    Xbox Won! Great to see them doing so well & well deserved, excellent console!????????????


  9. Ryanza

    January 11, 2016 at 15:00

    About half of the world is connected to dls internet. Microsoft can only sell to half of the world, 18 million who had internet bought the xbox one because the xbox one needs to be connected to the internet first before it can play the game.

    Sony on the other hand can sell to the world. 36 million units sold. The PS4 doesn’t need to be connected to the internet before you can play the games. Meaning you can play the damn games out of the box without needing the fucking internet to unlock the fucking concole to play the games.

    36 million – 18 million = 18 million.

    Don’t support DRM. DRM in video games cuts off half of the audience. Cyberpunk 2077 is coming.


    • CiNiMoD

      January 11, 2016 at 15:25

      The flaw here is that 90% of AAA titles require a day one patch before its playable 😛


      • Ryanza

        January 11, 2016 at 15:37

        If we talking about consoles the games tend to work out of the box. Day 1 patches tends to fix stability issues, performance issues, and so on.

        So out of the box, the games will play, 95% of the time. Day1 patches don’t make the games play, they just make the games play better or worse.


        • CiNiMoD

          January 11, 2016 at 15:59



      • Hammersteyn

        January 12, 2016 at 07:30

        LOL yes


  10. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    January 11, 2016 at 19:57

    lol “windows expert” – Sounds like someone is doing some expert thumb-sucking.


    • Hammersteyn

      January 12, 2016 at 07:27

      “windows expert” – The person used windows everyday?


  11. coip

    January 11, 2016 at 22:46

    Misleading title. It isn’t “activated”. It’s “active in the past 28 days”. Shoddy reporting.


    • Hammersteyn

      January 12, 2016 at 07:33

      I know hey? Such a fanboy


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