In its quarterly earnings report today, Microsoft said it sold 6.6 million Xbox consoles — both Xbox One and Xbox 360 combined — from October to December, which was down from the 7.4 million units sold during the year-ago quarter.
Microsoft did not break out how many Xbox One consoles were sold. In the year-ago quarter, it sold 3.9 million Xbox One consoles and 3.5 million Xbox 360 consoles. Microsoft debuted the Xbox One in November 2013.
The company today cited a “strong holiday performance” for the 2014 peak shopping season. On Nov. 2, Microsoft started selling the Kinect-less Xbox One for $349, but then brought the price back up to $399 earlier this month. However, the company changed its mind again and began selling the console for $349 — only in the U.S. — on Jan. 16.
Microsoft says strong sales during the initial launch period in 2013 made for a tough comparison this time around, which resulted in the decline for the 2014 holiday season.
Since both consoles launched in November 2013, Sony had outpaced Microsoft in sales for ten consecutive months up until this past November. In the midst of that run, Microsoft began selling a $399 version of the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor — $100 less than the Xbox One with Kinect, which had been the only buying option since launch.
In November, Microsoft again dropped the price to $349, while several retailers sold bundle deals that effectively made the console less than $300.
Those price cuts — the Xbox One debuted at $499 — attracted more customers, as Microsoft also announced earlier this month that the Xbox One outsold Sony’s PlayStation 4 in the U.S. during December for the second straight month. The Redmond company also sold more Xbox One games during the past two months than any current-generation platform, including the PS4.
However, the price cuts also caused Microsoft’s revenue to dip — it reported today that Xbox platform revenue decreased by 20 percent from one year ago.
Earlier this month, Sony announced at CES that it has sold 18.5 million PS4 consoles — which have always been $399 — to consumers worldwide since November 2013. The company said it sold 4.1 million consoles in the 2014 holiday season.
Microsoft last reported its worldwide Xbox One sales in November, when it noted 10 million consoles sold to retailers (not consumers). Sony said it sold 10 million consoles to consumers three months prior.