Microsoft stopped reporting Xbox One hardware sales recently, suggesting that its Monthly Active Users metric is more important than its flagship format's install base. Fortunately, an EA investor report and a bit of math has enabled us to, for the first time in a long while, see how the Redmond firm's box is performing in comparison to the PlayStation 4.
Now we know what you're thinking: this is fanboy fuel. Except, we reckon that it's pretty interesting seeing how each system is faring – and we're not casting any aspersions as to the quality of said consoles. So wind your neck in before you trot on down to the comments section, and let's take an objective look at the numbers that we have.
So, according to an EA estimation there were approximately 55 million new-gen consoles in peoples' homes by the end of 2015. And we already know that, as of 3rd January, the PS4 accounted for 35.9 million of those. Which means that the Xbox One is likely somewhere in the region of 19 million units sold. A not too shabby figure, for sure.
If we may add a little commentary for a moment: that's a decent number for Microsoft – it's above the Xbox 360 at the same point in its life – but the worry is that it's becoming increasingly irrelevant outside of key territories like the UK, USA, and Canada. That must be a concern. Either way, a combined install base of 55 million is above EA's expectations, which is good for console gaming in general.
So yeah, now we have a clearer picture of where things stand. To be honest, unless something crazy happens, we expect the gap between the two consoles to grow through 2016. The simple fact is that the PS4's lineup is far too strong this year for it to slow down, and while the Xbox One has a good slate too, it's going to struggle to keep pace with Sony's eclectic selection.