Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said the platform holder really doesn't put much emphasis on console sales and is instead focussed on monthly active users across the Xbox family.
"The reason I focus our team, I focus the studios we work with, I focus the company and Microsoft on our monthly active user number - and I get some pushback sometimes if I'm just trying to dodge a PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One number - I will say over and over the core of our strategy is to drive more and more engagement on Xbox Live, which means more people playing games, which means more games get sold for our partners and our customers are more happy. And that is the total focus," Spencer told GamesIndustry when questioned why MS hasn't released any recent Xbox One sales data.
Spencer continued: "The last number we announced was 48 million monthly active users... And certain people say that's a cop out that we focus on the monthly active users. I would like to say it's actually more risky than install base. Install base always goes up. Monthly active users, actually, year-over-year can go down if people are less engaged on Xbox."
"I don't want people to start painting a strategy onto us that everything we're doing is about selling you an Xbox console because that's not actually what we're trying to do," he added. "So then I kind of feed the wrong view into the business and what we're trying to get done if I play into a number that's actually not a number that we use to drive our strategy or our focus on delivery of games. So I know certain people will say, "Oh, that's PR speak and he's just a suit and he's kind of walking around it." I will say, fundamentally, how many people we can get on Xbox live - we just announced Minecraft coming to iOS and Android connected with Realms, that'll be more Xbox Live customers coming in - having those people engaged on the service buying games is the fundamental part of the strategy, whether they're on Windows, Xbox, or, frankly, on other devices."
Spencer also adds that why would Microsoft and Xbox introduce a program such as Xbox Play anywhere if it wanted to drive consumers down the Xbox One route.
"Xbox Play Anywhere is a program you would never do if all you were focused on was selling more Xboxes," he argued.
"Honestly, I'm not focused on doing things purely to outsell PS4 with our Xbox One. We're doing things beyond that."
But how many Xbox Ones have been sold Phil? We need to know.