NPD released the sales numbers for April 2014 on Thursday and they illustrate why Microsoft had to make the decision to offer a Kinect-free Xbox One. While software sales for both Xbox consoles were strong, particularly with “Titanfall,” hardware sales did not in a good place for the month so early into the life of the new system.
Microsoft announced that the Xbox One only sold 115,000 units for the month of April 2014. By comparison, the Xbox 360 sold nearly three times that amount at 295,000 in the April 2006, which was the same time frame following its release.
The Xbox One at $499.99 is clearly too pricey of a console to attract consumers, especially with the $400 Playstation 4 sitting right next to it on store shelves. That led to Microsoft’s decision this week unbundle the Kinect from the console to bring price of the system in line with its competitor. However, that change won’t happen until June 9, which makes the outlook for May look especially grim.
Meanwhile, “Titanfall” sold strongly once again thanks to the release of the game to the Xbox 360 during the month. It sits atop the software chart with the last-gen version outselling the Xbox One and PC versions. While the hardware sales have taken a disappointing turn for the new console, the software attach rate sits at a healthy three games sold per console according to Microsoft.
The top ten software sales chart for April 2014 is dominated by multi-platform titles, especially from the LEGO family of games, with “Minecraft” for the Xbox 360 being the lone exclusive. Interestingly enough, if you look at games sold on an individual basis, “inFamous: Second Son” for the Playstation 4 is the top selling next-gen title for the month despite not making it in the top ten. Next-gen software sales are not impressive at this point though as software sales declined ten percent to $227.9 million despite total industry sales climbing 17 percent to $580.3 million.
Sony has not announced the total number of PS4 console sold for the month of April yet but it’s clear that the console enjoyed a healthy lead over the Xbox One. Microsoft’s only move to was to drop the price of its console and the only way to do that was to remove the Kinect as eating an extra $100 loss on hardware is not a sustainable business proposition. The next steps that the company takes will be critical and that starts with the E3 media briefing on June 9, which Microsoft has to nail with compelling games and content to attract consumers.
NPD numbers via GamesIndustry.biz