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Worldwide hours spent gaming on Xbox One nearly doubled in February

As we have reported in the past, Microsoft has decided to not reveal the total number of Xbox One hardware sales it records every month. However, the company did reveal that the number of hours spent by customers gaming on Xbox Live nearly doubled in February 2016 compared to the same month a year ago.

In a statement to GameInformer, Mike Nichols, corporate vice president of Xbox marketing, said:

"The unmatched lineup of games available on Xbox One continues to generate a strong response from gamers as seen through global Xbox Live engagement and exclusive game sales. Compared to February 2015, exclusive Xbox One U.S. game sales drove a 49 percent increase and the total number of hours spent gaming on Xbox One worldwide rose 93 percent."

The research firm NPD Group did confirm that Sony's PlayStation 4 was the number one best selling console in U.S. retail outlets during February 2016, both in terms of hardware and software. Specific unit sales were not revealed. Overall hardware sales were down 23 percent compared to a year ago, thanks in part to massive sales drops in older consoles.

Software sales dropped 10 percent when compared to last February. Ubisoft's Far Cry Primal was the number one best selling game during the month, followed by Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Grand Theft Auto V.

50 Comments
  • That's nice. Xbox one gets the hours it deserves. Haha.
  • Yeah. I really really want to get an Xbox One, but my boyfriend is afraid I will spend more time with the console than with him. Which is stupid, because we could play together. Or maybe he wants something else... hmm. :P
  • Maybe he's secretly a Sony fanboy
  • Nah, not the gamer type. He's into travelling and taking hipster-ish pics with his iPhone. Posted from Bikini Bottom via my Shell XPS 13
  • Uhm. How many girls named Nicholas do you know?
    Anyway, thank you for your approval. LOL :P Posted from Bikini Bottom via my Shell XPS 13
  • He's gay and he's "bikini bottom". You can PM him for contact details. On topic though, why is Microsoft becoming more and more secretive when it comes to sales figures and the store information on app updates? Posted from my Lumia 950XL
  • Well, that is one unique way of interpreting an innocent SpongeBob Reference... Posted from Bikini Bottom via my Shell XPS 13
  • Because, ultimately, Live makes them more revenue than hardware sales. NDP is busted anyway. Never accounts for digital sales. Yes, Sony likely gets better sales overall on multiplatform games, but we don't really know what the attach-rate of either is (games per-console). That probably matters more to MS than anything else.
  • Even though it's good to see that you wouldn't care whether he's gay or not, why did it matter so much in the first place? Your question was entirely unnecessary and off-topic as if you needed some kind of justification to deem it to be ok.
    Even if he had been a girl with male-username so what? It'd still would not have been relevant to the article or Xbox on any way whatsoever.
  • IBi i Yet again what has that got to do with anything? It's even more irrelevant than your original question! If he had said "my partner" instead of "my boyfriend" would you have asked if he was gay? No. If he had a random, non-gender specific sounding username such as "WindowsCentralFan71" and said "my boyfriend" would you have asked if he was gay? No.
    The point is you asked because he has a male username and said "my boyfriend" and there was absolutely no need to ask or confirm his sexuality, because again it's completely irrelevant to the topic. Either way I'm sure you didn't mean to offend anyone & he obviously didn't mind you asking, but from now on just think before you ask whether it really matters in the first place.
  • Easy sell then.  The xbox is the less popular option, so of course any 'real' hipster ****** will buy one so as not to be mainstream.
  • Wii U is the more hip console... Posted from my Lumia 950XL
  • Woah, easy there, cowboy. :P
    Either way no consoles for me until we marry. Then we are going to become the boring married couple who is stuck with each other and I can finally get an Xbox. :P Posted from Bikini Bottom via my Shell XPS 13
  • He surely wants something else -_-
  • Duh winter in the N hemisphere people dont go out as much. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • We've just entered autumn (fall) here in australia, and believe me, in summer we don't want to be going outside any more than ppl in the US want to venture outside during winter.
  • Sad that Nadella decided to surrender VR to PlayStation. It may well be game over for Xbox.
  • LOL no
  • What?  ROFLCOPTERINSANITYTRAINONICE
  • Market leader PlayStation is getting new game changing capabilities while second place xbox is being neglected by Nadella. Not that difficult to see how this will end.
  • Vhyr I have to disagree. People keep talking how VR is going to be the next big thing. But it's not from the way I see it. First of all for sonys track record supporting 3rd party devices on the PlayStation shows they don't do the best job to start with. Now to the VR side. Home console players buy a console because they don't want to spend £100s on a high end pc and then setup each game as it comes out to run best on the hardware they have. All console gamers want is to plug in and go. They also don't want to sepend as much on a console as it would cost for a pc. This is why we tend to see console sales get bigger in the 3rd year of being on sale. Add another £200+for a vr device and I just don't see it being very popular at all. Don't get me wrong I like both VR and AR for what they offer but I still don't see any of them being big in the gaming world.
  • PlayStation VR is affordable first party device you can just plug in. How affordable it is we will likely find out next Tuesday. http://www.polygon.com/2016/3/9/11174194/the-making-of-playstation-vr
  • Nothing like moving the goalposts when you're losing a game....
  • Sort of.  But simply claiming top spot based on # of systems sold is disingenuous if each console makes close to $0 profit and its the games and their licenses that actually deliver the actual profit. A saying during the PS3 days springs to mind: "We make a loss on every system sold, but we'll make that up in numbers"
  • Re: Zybch,
    Very nicely said.
    (Some peoples world must be so simple.)
  • Except MS is positioned in gaming on both console & PC. Sony just on console. Long term I think MS will win even though this console generation win goes to Sony.
  • Is PS4 winning or losing when it comes to hours played? Without comparable stats from Sony...
  • that's the point of why the report it in such a way I believe
  • No, the reason they report hours played is because it is a better representation of engagement. When many people begin to own both consoles, it is the hours spent on each ecosystem that really matters. A console purchase is a once-off; it has no information such as game purchases, DLC profitability, subscription usage, etc. Hours spent is a single figure that tracks the most important sentiment.
  • I don't disagree, but it doesn't allow us to compare with Sony that way as far as I know +640/Win10
  • Thats the whole point I'm afraid.  Its just like ISPs having data plans that can't easily be compared to each other. However, as Nic above said, the engagement is probably a better metric to use anyway. A recent story here reported that publishers make more per xbox user than PS4 user, and a lot of that is the level of engagement and willingness (foolishness) of xboxers to purchase titles, DLCs and season passes/pre-orders. Of course I'd rather $10 each from the almost 40m PS4 users than $15 each from 20m XB1 users lol The attach rate (# of games sold per console) figures are almost a year out of date as neither team green or team blue publish that number anymore, but as of the final numbers available, xbox had a noticably higher rate than PS4, and thats also a far more important number than just how many consoles of either brand are sold; given that both sony and MS most likely make close to zero profit on the actual console.
  • Microsoft very recently confirmed they have 48 million gold members.
  • That's the official explanation, but reporting on engagement rather than sales is really a spin tactic.
  • He did quote both engagement and sales(49%)
  • Right, but not reporting the actual sales numbers prevents that from being a meaningful metric.
  • Maybe there were just more single people in Feb than last year and didn't want to celebrate Valentines day :D From WC W10M App on a 950XL
  • Miss seeing the top 10 active games list that major nelson used to post more frequently was quite the thing to see
  • It's a distraction statistic, nothing more. They went an entire console generation on 360 and never mentioned this, but 360 was winning on sales. None the less I don't blame them for shifting discussion to engagement.
  • What MS did is Spying.
  • Microsoft should sell the Xbox business and just focus on the enterprise, because it seems that's the only thing they are good at.
  • You are right MSFT didn't sell more than 80 million Xbox360s and 20 millions Xbox Ones give or take. With 50 millions active Live users. Pretty sure on the gamer/consumer front MSFT is fine
  • Yeah but how many paid XBL users are there?
  • About 48 million and rising. Already documented.
  • I don't get it Sent from Lumia 550, HTC Desire 816 or Dell Inspiron 5122
  • Do they break down console sales by country? Because Sony dominates in japan but I wonder what the USA sales are.....just curious.
  • Sad news just keep coming and this whole hours spent thing is just embarrassing and needs to stop.
  • I would agree but as I can't connect to xbox live again I can see how we've doubled hours when we can't get online.
  • Wow, this comment stream is waaaaay off topicish. Lol. C-C-Combo Breaker. Now that's out of the way, I recently downloaded ARK. Haven't played it as I know I'll get drawn into it lol. Games like that will definitely increase the online uptime per player on xbl.
  • I'm a big time fan, but I can't believe everyone supporting MS with this ridiculous situation. Spin it anyway you want, but the towel has clearly been thrown in here by MS and us Xbox fans can only be the losers long term. Clearly MS have changed direction and the hard core fans have been left out in the cold.....again. Here we go again, the beginning of the end, MS abandoning yet another quality product, its all about PC now.
  • You're drawing some strange conclusions from this data. It's not good news that the console is struggling with sales, but that's as far as the news goes. They're still making lots of great games for Xbox One, and hopefully PC integration will pay off in cool ways as well.