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Xbox Series X|S Had Best Launch Month for Xbox Console, Xbox Game Pass Tops 18M Subscribers

Xbox Series X|S Had Best Launch Month for Xbox Console, Xbox Game Pass Tops 18M Subscribers - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 February 2021 / 1,830 Views

Microsoft released its financial results for the second quarter of the 2021 fiscal year, which ended December 31, 2020. Microsoft reported revenue of $43.1 billion and net income of $15.5 billion for the quarter. This is an increase of 17 percent and 33 percent, respectively. 

"What we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry, said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "Building their own digital capability is the new currency driving every organization’s resilience and growth. Microsoft is powering this shift with the world’s largest and most comprehensive cloud platform."

Looking at the Xbox business, hardware sales grew 86 percent year-over-year, driven by the launch of the Xbox Series X|S. The Xbox content and services revenue grew 40 percent. Overall gaming revenue increased 51 percent. 

Nadella during the earnings call with investors announced Xbox Game Pass has topped 18 million subscribers, while there are over 100 million monthly active Xbox Live users across consoles, PC, and mobile. 

The Xbox Series X|S had the best launch month ever for an Xbox console. 


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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42 Comments
Soonerman (on 26 January 2021)

I bought an Xbox One at launch and I did not see the level of excitement and purchasing levels as Series X has had. So even though it did have 12 extra days we know this console has been supply constrained and sold out whereas Xbox One did not have that kind of success.

  • +7
Libara (on 27 January 2021)

Great news for MS, and things will only keep going up with what they have planned.
The comments section for positive MS articles never fail to entertain. Now wheres that popcorn gif...

  • +6
Mr Puggsly (on 26 January 2021)

Demand overall for Xbox Series consoles is greater, Gamepass is doing amazing and there is certainly more optimism for 1st party games. The Xbox brand has momentum and hopefully MS keeps it going. On a side note I have the S and X. I feel the S is great, but I think there would be less complaining if it were $50 cheaper.

  • +4
Doctor_MG (on 26 January 2021)

"launch month"

Well, the Xbox One launched November 22, 2013. So the Xbox Series X/S had 12 extra days of sales, almost two weeks. This doesn't tell us much unless they are talking about rolling month, which I get the feeling they are not.

  • +3
Real (on 27 January 2021)

Ohh yeah Xbox coming big this genaration and they have a huge AAA line up

  • +1
Azzanation (on 26 January 2021)

18m members paying $10 a month.. that's a lazy $180m a month MS are pocketing. Not including Live Members to the account. And people on this site reckon GP isn't profitable.

  • +1
thismeintiel Azzanation (on 27 January 2021)

Very lazy math, indeed. MS is constantly running $1 deals, as well as other discounts. They've been running 3 months of Ultimate for $1 recently. MS has already admitted last year it wasn't profitable, but they are in for the long game. But, we'll never know how well it will do on its own til these type of deals are done for good. Personally, I expect they haven't been seeing as much natural growth as they would like, otherwise there would be no reason to continue such deals this long after Game Pass launched.

  • -3
ironmanDX thismeintiel (on 27 January 2021)

They said "not very profitable"... A few million subs ago. Been growing about a million subs per month. I'd say it's exceeding. especially considering all analyst estimations have bee blown out of the water by recent report from MS.

I expect more natural growth when games like Halo, Star Field, flight Sim SX edition etc start hitting day one at no "upfront" cost.

  • +6
Azzanation thismeintiel (on 27 January 2021)

What deals? I havnt seen a $1 deal since the launch of GamePass.
Even if they had customers on those $1 deals, they are not permanent. GamePass will cost $120 a year or $12 a year if they have a $1 deal running. At the end of the full year, thats still insane amount of cash especally with 18m customers, with many paying $10 a month.

  • +4
LudicrousSpeed Azzanation (on 27 January 2021)

Remember who you are replying to. He’s going to downplay absolutely everything Xbox related. Bear in mind that all of these consoles were supposed to be the last Xbox console, according to him:

360 S
Xbox One
Xbox One S
Xbox One X
Xbox Series X|S

  • 0
shikamaru317 thismeintiel (on 27 January 2021)

Yeah, I haven't seen one of those $1 deals in at least a year personally. Besides, MS has suggested in the past that they don't include those $1 deals in their Gamepass subscriber numbers unless the person signs up for recurring payments.

  • +3
ArchangelMadzz shikamaru317 (on 27 January 2021)

I literally got gamepass on PC for £1 a couple months ago.

  • +2
zero129 ArchangelMadzz (on 27 January 2021)

Yes but now try get it again. Its a once off offer, MS does every so often for "New" costumers only.

  • 0
ArchangelMadzz zero129 (on 28 January 2021)

Yeah, that's the whole point. That they've been running these deals and people are saying they haven't when they have...

  • 0
Azzanation ArchangelMadzz (on 28 January 2021)

Yes but lets not act as if all 18m subscribers are on a free or $1 deal. Personally i haven't seen a $1 deal since the launch of the service. Maybe other countries have different deals i don't know. Its easy to bet that there will be a fair amount of people paying full price for the service.

  • 0
SKMBlake Azzanation (on 27 January 2021)
  • -6
kazuyamishima Azzanation (on 27 January 2021)

There are promotions every month for GP.

Also how much is MS paying third party developers for their games and infrastructure??

  • -2
Azzanation kazuyamishima (on 27 January 2021)

If MS are raking in $200m a year off GP, they can afford it easily.

  • 0
Giggity_goo Azzanation (on 27 January 2021)

i got a years worth off cdkeys works out loads cheaper

  • +1
Comment was deleted...
VAMatt Azzanation (on 27 January 2021)

There are tons of people on low cost deals. I bought 3 years of XBL Gold and converted it to GP Ultimate for $1. So, basically $180 for 3 years, or $5 per month. Also, I bought the XBL from retailers, so MS didn't get the whole $180. Maybe I should be counted at $4 per month.
On the other hand, there are lots of people paying $15 per month for Gamepass Ultimate. So, I think using a $10 per month average is probably about right. Maybe use $8 if you want to be conservative.

That said, $180mm is not what MS is "pocketing". That's the revenue. If it is profitable, its just barely so. I'm sure that what they're "pocketing" isn't moving the needle on earnings for a giant company like MS. I'm sure it will get there eventually though, as it is clear at this point that the service is going to work out in the long term.

  • +5
Azzanation VAMatt (on 27 January 2021)

Even if we look at the worse case scenario with 18m people paying $1 per month for a whole year. That's $216m at the end of year. Now that number is not including those paying more than $1 per month and not including Gold Live Members either. $216m at its worst case scenario and growing rapidly. GP has been around for 3 years so $216m + the other 3 years of GP would be possibly past the half a billion mark in just itself at $1 per month. Either its $1 or $10, they are making a fortune with the high amount of members.

Also keep in mind that MS would not be allowing Xbox to invest $7.5b in Bethesda is they don't see the profits and revenue potential of the brand, and its all coming from Subs. And if GP continues to surpass the 20m and 30m member bracket and people are spending more than $1 to access it, than that's money on a mega scale.

  • 0
SKMBlake Azzanation (on 27 January 2021)

MS is thinkg long term. But currently, they still don't make any profit. All the hardware they sold for the launch of the new generation is at loss, so +86% of revenue in hardware selling at loss made them lose a lot of money actually

  • +1
Azzanation SKMBlake (on 27 January 2021)

Thats there Hardware side, both Sony and MS lose on the hardware front however GP, Live and PSN is the reason they can take the losses quite easily.

  • -1
SKMBlake Azzanation (on 28 January 2021)

They also lose money on the GP right now

  • +1
shikamaru317 (on 26 January 2021)

While launch month was indeed up over Xbox One in 2013, launch Holiday season was down compared to XB1 based on VGC estimates, though it wasn't due to lower demand, Xbox Series is super supply constrained, leading to lackluster December sales compared to Xbox One in 2013.

18m Gamepass subs is nice though, that's another 3m subs added in the quarter, a growth rate of 20% for the quarter.

  • +1
DonFerrari (on 27 January 2021)

Congrats on the increase of GP subs.

  • 0
Ayla (on 27 January 2021)

Nice. Xbox Series will see Xbox 360 levels of success.

  • 0
AFattyGamer (on 27 January 2021)

Start sharing actual sale numbers for your consoles Microsoft. Nothing to be ashamed about.

  • 0
Ryotsu (on 27 January 2021)
  • -7
SKMBlake (on 26 January 2021)
  • -10
Random_Matt (on 26 January 2021)
  • -15