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June 23, 2023

Xbox Concedes Console War Defeat Amid $69B Activision Battle

Xbox trails PlayStation and Nintendo, capturing 16% of the market. Aiming higher in the console race

In a surprising revelation, Microsoft has publicly conceded that its beloved gaming console, Xbox, has encountered formidable competition and fallen short in the fierce "console wars" against its rivals, PlayStation and Nintendo. This revelation emerges amidst Microsoft's ongoing legal dispute with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its ambitious bid to acquire Activision Blizzard for a staggering $69 billion. With Xbox presently capturing a modest 16% market share, Microsoft's admission highlights the hurdles it faces in the fiercely competitive gaming landscape.

In its recent statement to the FTC, Microsoft candidly acknowledges the historical performance of Xbox. The company concedes that since its inception in 2001, Xbox has consistently lagged behind both PlayStation and Nintendo consoles, struggling to achieve a higher sales ranking. Microsoft underscores the fact that Xbox has perpetually occupied the third spot in sales, trailing its formidable competitors.

As per Microsoft's legal filing, "Xbox's console has consistently ranked third (of three) behind PlayStation and Nintendo in sales. In 2021, Xbox secured a 16% market share, while Nintendo and PlayStation achieved shares of [redacted] and [redacted] respectively." These figures highlight the challenges Xbox has encountered in its pursuit of market dominance, with PlayStation and Nintendo enjoying more prominent positions.

To offset the impact of lower console sales, Microsoft has adopted a distinct approach focused on driving revenue through game sales and accessories. By subsidizing the console's cost and enticing gamers into the Xbox ecosystem, the company aims to mitigate potential losses and generate profits through game sales and associated merchandise.

Microsoft's acknowledgment of Xbox's struggles in the console market constitutes a vital aspect of its defense against the FTC's attempts to impede the Activision Blizzard acquisition. The FTC has expressed concerns that the merger could grant Xbox a monopolistic position in the gaming market, potentially leading to exclusivity arrangements that limit access to popular titles like Call of Duty. However, Microsoft vehemently denies any such intentions and emphasizes the significance of the merger in securing its competitiveness against industry leaders Sony and Nintendo.

As Microsoft's legal battle with the FTC unfolds, its acknowledgment of Xbox's challenges against PlayStation and Nintendo sheds light on the demanding nature of the console market. With a modest 16% market share, Xbox finds itself trailing behind its formidable rivals. The outcome of this legal proceeding will undoubtedly shape the future landscape of the gaming industry, influencing the strategies and market positioning of key players such as Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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