Phil Spencer Shares Why Microsoft Won't Use Xbox One Sales Anymore to Gauge Success,but Active Users

During Microsoft's Xbox Spring Showcase in San Francisco, that DualShockers attended, Xbox Division head honco Phil Spencer gave a detailed explanation on the reason why the company won't use console sales anymore to gauge its success in gaming, but monthly active users (MAO).

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johndoe112111383d ago (Edited 1383d ago )

"People ask me: “does this have anything to do with how Xbox One is doing relatively to PlayStation 4 lately, is that why you’ve gone to monthly active users?” And the answer is no."

You know what phil, all i'm gonna say is that if the xbox had the lead that the ps4 is currently enjoying, you guys would still be touting sales numbers. But what the heck do I know right?

Outside_ofthe_Box1383d ago

Can't really expect him to say yes.

G20WLY1383d ago (Edited 1383d ago )

Why not? MS don't ALWAYS lie, you know. If it's the truth - and based on their gloating earlier last gen, it most certainly is - it would be refreshing to hear it.

He could follow it up with what they have done, or are doing, to try to turn the tide. That'd be a healthy response. But I do agree that I wouldn't expect him to be that honest.

Hey Phil, if you keep sweeping stuff under the rug, eventually you're gonna trip.

Mr Pumblechook1383d ago

This is why Microsoft slapped 1 week NDAs on people who attended their event, so Microsoft could use strict contracts to control their message. This is why it is important for 'journalists' to grow up and start being journalists and not report spin as news.

The reason, the only reason, Microsoft is not reporting sales figures is because they are underperforming. This article demonstrates why gamers have lost their trust in the media.

uptownsoul1383d ago Show
Mr Pumblechook1383d ago

Phil Spencer said "the number of people that in the last 30 days have engaged with an Xbox Live game on Xbox One, Windows, or Xbox 360."

This means users of the Xbox app on Windows 8 &10 and on Windows phone are also included. Windows of course has a monopoly on home computing and business computers so lumping their Monthly Active users with Xbox One figures will present a skewed view of the platform's success.

frostypants1383d ago

What I would expect is for people to stop writing articles about what these corporate shills have to say.

ThePope1383d ago Show
dirkdady1383d ago

I would have a lot more respect for him if didn't treat us like idiots. What shame is there in admitting what the entire industry knows.

rainslacker1382d ago

Thing is, announcing one's sales, or using it to gauge success doesn't have to be a competition. It just is what it is.

Anyhow, that being said, since their impetus for this new business model is more about making sure users are active, and increasing those numbers, it does make more sense for them to announce such things, because that actually is how they would measure the success of their current model. I mean, active users is the number that Steam uses after all...and active users denotes revenue.

Numbers won't mean much in relation to sales of another console, but that's more a problem for fan boys in the forums. But, Sony could do the same, but MS has more ways to pad the numbers to reflect what they want to show, and I don't expect them to separate it out into number of Xbox console users, PC users, or any other place you can actively use the things that these log ins provide.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 1382d ago
glassgannon9091383d ago (Edited 1383d ago )

Offcourse he would, cause that would help him in his job or stature or whatever,you would do the same in his situation, so would everyone else.I dont go around flaunting my grades if I fail in class, and i dont owe any random stranger an explanation or an apology or even admission for it either.But you can bet your ass I would get a billboard ad put up if I topped my batch in MIT. Its not hypocrisy , its basic human nature.
business isnt done through emotions.
everyone and their mother now knows that ps4 beat xbox badly and thats that, if ms announced xb1's sales, true enough, itd be an embarrassing spectacle. I even admit MS were dicks about their performance last gen.
But I dont get the constant need to badger the guy into getting him to admit that....
in reality ,nobody has one good reason to give a single flying crap about how much either sold in comparison,its all just ammo for the trolls.
To make one segment feel better and the other feel bad.
I mean what do people expect? he's not gonna come and say he lost and then quit.
Its his job is to make money and cut losses.
And before im called an xbot, im anything but.Infact i consider myself a biased person who usually blindly defends his own choice, which is easily ps4 this gen.
Xbox pr is probably worse than nintendo with the amount spins they can come up with, their anti indie policies are terrible and i blame them for bringing out the worst in the console gaming industry, be it moneyhats, incessant dlc or paid online

Christopher1383d ago (Edited 1383d ago )

Fine, don't announce numbers, but don't hide behind some other numbers. Instead, recognize your failings by telling us you will do better. Show us how you will support my decision to buy your hardware.

It's funny how companies in general lose sight of their past issues or fail to continue to learn from them. Sony last gen made a ton of mistakes. they started this gen proving how the listened and moved past them while then later making the exact same mistakes as their competition. MS on the other hand got a huge helping of karma for their mistakes, fixed them, and are now moving on to making entirely new ones with similarities to how they went into this generation.

Really, all we want is for them to recognize their issues and solve them as best as they can while giving us the games we love. It's really not that hard.

nix1383d ago

"Our partners in games, they want the largest collection of active gamers who will buy and play games. That is the ultimate metric in any service that you gotta talk about. What’s the monthly active userbase."

what if Sony also starts talking about active userbase?

MS logic is "not all bought consoles are in use". fine logic but Sony has sold almost twice the numbers now. even if i just switch on my PS4, it will be registered active. how are MS measuring the "activeness"?

i feel they've taken this stance because no one knows how many people are logged in at any given time. maybe the game developers but they will only know about how many are logged in for their games.

is there a site that tells how many gamers are logged in PSN, Live?

Dark_Crow1383d ago

How many limited editions are bought by people who already own said console?

That isn't taken into account. How many people actually play their wii u versus how many bought it for instance.

Active users is important to see if people are actually playing the console instead of letting it rust.

Christopher1383d ago

Dark_Crow, that would be valid if they reported on just XBO, but they lump XBO, 360, mobile, and PC users into one. That person who plays Sudoku on his phone isn't quite a useful metric to an XBO gamer or the platform itself.

rainslacker1382d ago

Wonder if MS will break down the statistics like they do for their partners who know how to use this information or if what we'll get is some conglomerated number which will be pointless to use for discussion.

It's funny, he seems to be addressing the gaming community here, which really doesn't care about active users. We probably care slightly more about that number than the number of zombies killed in DR3. It's an interesting number, sure, but it's meaningless overall for us, because we aren't trying to sell games. We care about the hardware sales themselves(or most of us do), and to just say they aren't important is rather silly, because obviously hardware sales has some corollary to the number of active users.

Steam announces user count from time to time to show milestones in their progression. That's cool, because it shows that they are progressing and it's relevant for their particular service.

For console gamers on forums, such numbers are meaningless, and will be even more so because the actual pertinent data won't be made available to us like it is in the heavily NDA'd reports that MS partners get. For console gamers in forums, the number of active users is rather irrelevant to the particular service(or hardware rather).

vegasgamerdawg1383d ago (Edited 1383d ago )

MS isn't in a fanBOY war, though I think there's some truth to what you're saying.BUT, the money isn't in the hardware sales, it's in the software, can't be disputed.
MS is changing focus and that's a fact. They want to get rid of the hardware requirement. Shifting to a shared ecosystem, so you'll be able to play your games on any device.
Sony and MS are on PUBLIC RECORD, that there's very little profit to none in building consoles, and it's a giant headache and risk for the their respected companies.
MS is not caught up in only counting console sales, but profit and that can't be disputed. FanBOY's, not saying your're one, don't see the big picture. Profit is what motivates companies and not some made up convoluted fanBOY war.
Change is coming, it's inevitable. Streaming will unite all devices with the added benefit of killing off PC piracy sales. It's a good thing for all gamers.

Christopher1383d ago

If there was little profit in the console market, we would all be playing on PCs. I think you are confusing the cost to develop hardware with overall profit based on that hardware. The profits that extend from the hardware got Nintendo to where they are and made the PS4 one of Sony's more profitable divisions.

AizenSosuke1383d ago

Phil I like you but your not help the situation, Xbox is losing to PS4 in sales and running away and using active users doesn't help.

Fatal-Aim1383d ago

What about those pallets of PS4 pics? They were real quick to post those and talk about how much they were selling then until they found that it didn't make a difference. Now all of a sudden they are being modest with logins being more important. What it basically comes down to is them getting the tar kicked out of them to a point where they have to eat their words.

-Foxtrot1383d ago

It's nice he's focusing on PC gaming but it's like he's only doing it because he's desperate.

If the Xbox One was doing really well and selling more then Sony he wouldn't bat an eye lid at the PC community.

rainslacker1382d ago (Edited 1382d ago )

He's doing it because MS told him this is the way it's going to go. He may have been cool with it from the start, because I doubt many of the changes now are something that just cropped up since he took over. This is a hugely orchestrated paradigm shift that started with the development of Windows 8, and was adjusted for Windows 10 to actually have the potential to succeed.

There is no way going forward that MS will let Spencer make Xbox about just the console itself. The Xbox brand is too important to MS to let it stand on the console alone, and MS understands quite well just how important gamers are to being adopting this current ecosystem they want, because gamers are usually the ones in front of most technological changes on the consumer level.

Giving Spencer credit for these changes is just fallcay. For him to get credit, he would have had to be pivotal to the whole one platform initiative from the beginning, and obviously Xbox wasn't part of that back in the 360 days when it first started showing it's head.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1382d ago
Brugal1383d ago

Alrighty. Interesting explanation by Phil but ok

Aloy-Boyfriend1383d ago (Edited 1383d ago )

How are you going to increase your user base if the console doesn't sell tho? PS4 has the casual market playing games like COD and such. It will still win in that regard.

Saying that we should pay attention to the amount of people playing on the console isn't saying much either... Just like games don't care for sales (so some of them suddenly say), they don't care how many people are playing other than their close friends. Monthly user base isn't something very accurate to measure success, but at least it is something I guess

Aloy-Boyfriend1383d ago

Instead of trying to shrug off the competition because you are losing the battle, you should stick with it and keep trying like Sony did last gen. Like Sega was to nintendo, Sony is your rival. Spinning things up and trying to hid facts makes you look worse.

Dark_Crow1383d ago

Sony did their own thing last gen and ignored the sales numbers.

That is what Microsoft is now doing.

Kemo_Spear1383d ago

@ Dark_Crow true, but here is the rub: at least Sony still gave out the monthly sales numbers AND at the end of the gen the PS3 beat the 360 in sales. SO... you were saying?

Aenea1383d ago

By giving away a free Forza 6 to Win10 users! They need to have an XBL account, even if they don't buy anything but only grab this free game it's an active account and they can show increasing numbers!

Christopher1383d ago

This is actually very accurate. We will hear about an increase in "XBL" users in the next few months. What does that do for the XBO? Nothing. But, they'll show that as growth.

As mentioned before, more focus on PC is good for gamers in general, but does nothing at all for XBO. As a person who recently obtained an XBO, I want to hear less about PC gaming and XBL numbers and more about my XBO. Right now, it's an interesting phase for MS and I think E3 will be a big indicator of the future of XBO as it relates to MS' new focus on PC gaming.

rainslacker1382d ago

Good point. I have several live accounts which I use or have created at some point. Two for XBL(one never used from their mobile app I signed up for ages ago, one for my current X1), 3 for hotmail(1 defunct, 2 active to varying degrees), one for live itself, one for MSDN(requires a developer account).

Without a metric of what constitutes an active account, it's really hard to gauge what the numbers mean for us. Plus, it's makes it easy for MS to use the number any way they please. Is an active account one that was used in the last 30 days, or does it also include any erroneous ones(like my mobile XBL account I haven't logged into since the day I made it). Does it include people who have multiple accounts on one system for whatever reason?


bet you're going to love moderating all the comments which try to make this some relevant number in the console war arguments.:)

I am always interested in how it's spun by the fan boys when new things pop up though. Sadly it does grow old and repetitive quite quickly.:)

Otherwise, yep, that's exactly how they'll use the number, and since MS new paradigm is about active users as a whole(to support their new service initiative), it will show the investors that MS is doing good.

Hard thing about all this is, is that depending on the metric used for determine active accounts, it's not likely to decrease if there is a sudden shift in user base....but can show quick spurts of growth often.

Hate to say it, but sales numbers are actually much more indicative of a consoles success than this method.

johndoe112111383d ago

I strongly advise taking motion sickness pills before reading this article.

badz1491383d ago here's panadol for everyone!

MasterCornholio1383d ago

You spin me right round baby right round like a record baby round round round.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1383d ago
Hitoemi1383d ago (Edited 1383d ago )

Meh Sony stop talking sales numbers for a while last gen too. Doesnt change the fact most people know the xbone is in second place likely for this gen. Lets hope both companies learned their lessons and wont repeat the misstep in a couple years with next gen.