Microsoft’s Xbox One has consistently trailed Sony’s rival PlayStation 4 in sales for the vast majority of the current console generation, which kicked off in November 2013 when both consoles launched. Every once in a great while, though, the Xbox One outsells the PlayStation 4 for a month, and December 2017 was reportedly such a month.
“Thank you to everyone who helped support [Xbox One] this holiday, [NPD Group] just reported our highest Xbox One December console share ever,” General Manager, Xbox Games Marketing Aaron Greenberg tweeted yesterday.
This being the internet, someone immediately questioned the tone of Greenberg’s tweet, interpreting it to mean PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch was the month’s top-selling console. And as it turns out, the fan wasn’t entirely wrong. That did not, however, mean Xbox One finished behind both consoles, as it so often has since the Switch launched in March 2017.
“Xbox outsold PS4 in December for Gen 8 consoles according to NPD data,” Greenberg responded, “while Nintendo also had a great month as Switch had most overall units.”
Seeing how far behind Sony it was falling in lifetime-to-date sales, Microsoft stopped publicly reporting Xbox One sales numbers in October 2015, so it’s unlikely the public will ever know just how many units Microsoft moved last month. In any case, the console is some tens of millions of units behind the PlayStation 4’s 73.6 million units sold as of December 31, 2017.
Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch has much ground to make up on both consoles since it launched more than three years later. Still, Switch became the fastest-selling console in U.S. history earlier this month and has already outsold predecessor Wii U’s lifetime sales in Japan.