Xbox just reported its Q4 and full year earnings for the period ending June 30, 2023, which included hardware revenue declines year-over-year of 13%. And while steady declines may seem expected enough for a console almost three years into its life cycle, its competitor Sony has recently been enjoying its best PlayStation sales yet.
Microsoft's earnings are typically light on details, and these are no exception. The company reports an overall increase in gaming revenue for the quarter of $36 million driven by 5% growth in Xbox content and services, especially third-party content and Game Pass. This was offset by the 13% year-over-year decline in hardware revenue, which Xbox points out was simply due to a lower volume of consoles being sold than this time last year.
We don't have a clear picture on how Xbox hardware revenue over the last year compared to the year prior, nor has Microsoft released numbers on exactly how many Xbox units it's sold so far. But after a surge in sales last year thanks to relaxed supply chains, the last few quarters have been slower. Xbox hardware sales were down 13% in Q2, and then down 30% in Q3.
None of this would be entirely shocking for a console a solid three years into its life cycle, except that its direct competitor PlayStation has recently enjoyed some of its best hardware sales quarters yet.
In Q4 (ending in March of 2023), PlayStation reported hardware sales three times stronger year over year, and announced it sold nearly as many units in the previous financial year as it had in the one prior, bringing its total sales to 38.4 million units. Granted, this one was quarter ago, so it's possible Sony reports similarly slowed sales in its own earnings on August 9, but the tonal difference between the two companies remains stark nonetheless.
More details on the recent year for Xbox are expected once Microsoft publishes the remainder of its earnings filings, as well as during the earnings call later today.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.