Xbox Sees Massive Jump in Sales According to NPD

Even though videogame sales saw an overall decrease of 8% between January and March of this year, compared to 2021, most likely because folks are returning to work from the pandemic, Xbox hardware sales saw a massive increase in the US compared to the same time last year.

And when we say massive, we mean fucking massive, to the tune of a 92% increase, according to the NPD.

The NPD Group’s consumer spending report for Q1 2022 shows that hardware spending has decreased by 15% compared to Q1 2021, however, Xbox hardware saw a huge 92% increase.

NPD has given no specifics for the increase, but the fact that you can actually find an Xbox Series S on store shelves easily, and the Xbox Series X is attainable relatively easily online are certainly possibilities. Who knew, if you make your shit available, people will buy it.

Even though the Xbox is doing well, it cannot touch the mighty Nintendo Switch, which was the best-selling console during the same time frame in terms of total units sold.

[Source: NPD]

The Best Selling Console This Black Friday Weekend Is the Xbox Series S?

The Xbox Series S has topped all other consoles at this year’s Black Friday shopping extravaganza. The little next-gen console is turning out to be a savvy move from Microsoft. According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, the Xbox Series S has dominated sales in what is usually the busiest shopping day of the year.

Even though everyone is talking about the Xbox Series X and the Playstation 5, which have both been out for over a year, as well as the Nintendo Switch OLED, those consoles have been incredibly difficult to find. The Xbox Series S however, began to show up in decent quantities just before the Thanksgiving Holiday and shoppers began swallowing them up.

Of course, the Series S is at least $100 less than its competitors as well as the Series X, while still able to play next-gen exclusives like Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite, as well as third-party titles like Battlefield 2042 and Call of Duty Vanguard. Pair the tiny console with a Game Pass subscription and you got a very compelling console.

Hell, I picked up one to put in the family room and to act as my travel console, because I cannot help myself.

[Source: Adobe Digital Economy Index]

Microsoft Launches Limited Xbox Cloud Gaming Beta for Apple Devices & PC

Xbox Game Pass has arrived on iOS devices via web browser starting today April 20, provided you are invited to the limited beta.

Invites are being sent, and folks who are lucky enough to receive one will be able to play hundreds of Xbox Game Pass games via Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari by logging onto to Xbox.com/play.

As per Xbox Wire:

The limited beta is our time to test and learn; we’ll send out more invites on a continuous basis to players in all 22 supported countries, evaluate feedback, continue to improve the experience, and add support for more devices. Our plan is to iterate quickly and open up to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in the coming months so more people have the opportunity to play Xbox in all-new ways.

Xbox Wire

Yours truly has not been invited, as of yet.

[Source: Xbox Wire]

Halo Infinite Now Slated for Fall 2021 Release

Halo Infinite was supposed to be a launch title for the Xbox S|X and as we all know, that did not happen. 343 made the right call after the July 2020 campaign demo that was less than stellar to delay the title. However, we did get Craig the Brute out of it, so there was at least one positive thing that came out of it.

Halo/Bungie veteran, Joseph Staten was brought back on at 343 to help right the ship and get the highly anticipated title whipped into shape. Hopefully, under Staten’s direction Halo Infinite meet lofty expectations and bring a much needed exclusive the the Xbox Series X that can really show off what the hardware can do.

Staten details his plan in a recent Halo Waypoint blog post. There are some great details, particularly with how the graphics are shaping up. Looks like Craig the Brute will be more emotive and less stoic when the game finally launches in 2021

[Source: Halo Waypoint]

The Series X|S Is So Good at Backwards Compatibility it Transcends Platforms

I have finally secured a Playstation 5, meaning that my gaming setup is fully armed and operational, with an Xbox Series X, Playstation 5, and Nintendo Switch. Looking at my setup fills my heart full of joy. Only the birth of my children and my wedding day rivals it… just barely.

I am impressed with both the Series X and the PS5, but if I have to give any next generation console an edge, it has to go to the PS5, for now. The PS5 feels next-gen from the moment you boot it up and handle the impressive DualSense controller.

The Xbox Series X feels like a caged animal currently. Powerful, but unable to truly show off as there are currently no exclusive next gen titles to showcase what the hardware can do. That will change in time no doubt.

However, if there is one thing that the Series X|S can do remarkable well is backwards compatibility. The X|S can pretty much play every Xbox game ever made with the exception of a handful of titles and Kinect games, which are garbage anyway. Meanwhile, the PS5 can only play PS4 games.

The Series X|S are so good at backwards compatibility and emulation that it can even play Playstation 2 games, if you’re willing to put in a little effort, like the folks at Modern Vintage Gamer.

That’s pretty funny. As powerful and impressive that the PS5 is, it’s the $299 Series S that can play PS2 with relatively straight forward.

Eagle Eyed Gumshoes Believe that Xbox Series X Will Launch November 6

Some slick detective work has been conducted, with the recently leaked Xbox Series S|X controller, which may point to a release date. Intrepid sleuths have put together the details. Let’s hear them out.

First off, according to IGN via ResetEra, the ‘Microsoft Limited Warranty’ for the Xbox Series S|X controller appears to end on November 5, 2021. If history is any indicator, Microsoft’s Limited Warranty usually covers a year from purchase, which would mean a November 5 or November 6, 2020 release date is in the cards.

Furthermore, Tom Warren of The Verge posted the following image below of the controller packaging on Twitter, which clearly states “Do not sell or display before November 6, 2020. This is pretty concrete.

Everything is now pointing to November 6, 2020, unless there is a major change at Microsoft, or this is some elaborate ruse.

Now we just need a price and pre-order date.

[Source: IGN, ResetEra, The Verge]

The Xbox Series S Has Been Outed by a Leaked Controller

By now, everyone knows that Microsoft is launching two new consoles this holiday. Microsoft has already officially unveiled the powerful Series X, but what about the rumored Series S, previously known as Lockhart?

Nothing official has come out yet, but a recent leak of a legitimate Series S controller has pretty much confirmed its existence as reported by Ars Technica.

Ars Technica

An individual who goes by “Zak S” managed to legitimately purchase one of the Series S controllers way early and the packaging clearly shows that it’s designed for the “Xbox Series X|S.”

Ars Technica

When pressed, a Microsoft spokesperson stated that “We have a lot in store for Xbox in 2020 and can’t wait to share with you. However, we have nothing to announce at this time.”

Whatever the case may be, Microsoft must not be too pleased with the retailer that sold this controller early.

[Source: Ars Technica]