“Thank you for supporting the largest launch in Xbox history,” he wrote. “In 24 hrs more new consoles sold, in more countries, than ever before. We’re working with retail to resupply as quickly as possible. You continue to show us the connective power of play is more important than ever.”
Microsoft’s last full console launch for Xbox One in 2013 was also described as a company record at the time, with more than one million consoles sold in 24 hours.
Spencer did not share sales figures for Series X and S on Wednesday. However, this has been Microsoft policy for some years now and something the exec has suggested will continue during the Series era.
Spencer told The Guardian this week that Microsoft has no intention of starting to publicly disclose console sales numbers again, even if Xbox Series X/S greatly outperforms PlayStation 5. Instead, Microsoft will continue to use monthly active users as its key metric for success.
“I know it seems manipulative and I’ll apologise for that, but I don’t want my team’s focus on [console sales],” Spencer said. “The primary outcome of all the work that we do is how many players we see, and how often they play. That is what drives Xbox.
“If I start to highlight something else, both publicly and internally, it changes our focus. Things that lack backwards compatibility become less interesting. Putting our games on PC becomes a reason that somebody doesn’t have to go and buy an Xbox Series X.
“I’ll hold fast to this. We publicly disclose player numbers. That’s the thing I want us to be driven by, not how many individual pieces of plastic did we sell.”
Earlier this year Spencer said Microsoft now views Amazon and Google as its primary competitors in the games business, rather than its traditional rivals Nintendo and PlayStation, which he said aren’t set up to compete in the race to take gaming truly mainstream via the cloud.
Microsoft launched Xbox Series X/S on November 10 while PlayStation 5 debuted in some territories on November 12. In terms of which new console ships more units this holiday season, Spencer believes the victor will be determined by production capacity as demand for the machines is far outstripping supply.