Xbox calendar Q4 2015 financial results: MAUs soar 30% to record 48 million

Oct 7, 2014
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It isn't hate. It's mocking, and rightly so. Trying to hide your sales with spin and nonsense will always be mocked. Just like Sony was for the PlayStation family stuff last gen.
The funny part is that the joke is on you.


These reports are not for you, they're for those that own a ton of MS stock, or those that want to own a ton.

You laugh and mock, but the market responded favorably to the report today...
 
Jun 7, 2004
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The funny part is that the joke is on you.


These reports are not for you, they're for those that own a ton of MS stock, or those that want to own a ton.

You laugh and mock, but the market responded favorably to the report today...
Wrong, Xbox sales had very little to do with the share increase after earnings:

Investors are particularly enthusiastic about Microsoft's future business. The company reported deferred revenue, or sales that have been booked but not yet recorded, of $25 billion, topping the average analyst estimate of about $23 billion.

"It shows that momentum is building for Microsoft in 2016 rather than slowing, and that's different from what we're hearing from other enterprise tech companies," said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets who has a "buy" rating on the stock.

As with other recent quarters, investors are expected to key into Microsoft's cloud business, which many believe represents a crucial component for its future growth. The computing giant has been transitioning from a primarily PC-based company into a cloud-focused one, incorporating products such as Azure and Office 365 into its commercial and enterprise business.
 
Oct 7, 2014
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Wrong, Xbox sales had very little to do with the share increase after earnings:
I was responding to the "mocking" of MS's language concerning Xbox. I posited that this report was not for gamers, but rather for investors. What part of "the market responded favorably to the report" was wrong?
 
Jul 23, 2015
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I thought everyone already knew this.

Whether xbox does amazeballs or fails as badly as it could possibly fail it really has almost no effect on MS performance as a whole.

Xbox could be completely obliterated from existence tomorrow and I'm pretty sure the change to ms stock would be an unnoticeable blip.

I mean that is really how miniscule xbox is to MS's overall financial health. The brand is there for its indirect benefits.
 
Sep 6, 2014
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The funny part is that the joke is on you.


These reports are not for you, they're for those that own a ton of MS stock, or those that want to own a ton.

You laugh and mock, but the market responded favorably to the report today...
And that had next to nothing to do with MAU's
 

RamzaIsCool

The Amiga Brotherhood
Jan 2, 2006
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I was responding to the "mocking" of MS's language concerning Xbox. I posited that this report was not for gamers, but rather for investors. What part of "the market responded favorably to the report" was wrong?
It doesn't matter how MS reports Xbox numbers, it's influence on the shares is severely limited if at all.

The primary reason why MS chose to report this way is because it simply looks bad next to Sony numbers if they gave the real numbers. They are not the first company to do this, heck Sony did it last gen (Playstation family) and got mocked for it. Now MS is doing it, so people have fuck all to talk about in these threads, except giving MS a bit of shit of putting us in this situation.
 
Feb 25, 2014
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Pride has nothing to do with this.. It is a financial report.

Also kindly stow that console wars narrative.
I'm allowed to see it for what it is though, that has nothing to do with console wars narrative.

And pride as everything to do with this, they're trying to show their business in the best light possible for the investors, hence the lack of hardware number. Or do you thing that's just a coincidence that MS just stopped reporting their hardware numbers?

In their current strategy reporting MAU makes sense, but removing the hardware numbers shows a lack confidence as to the response they might cause, even though the Xbox division is basically a drop in MS' bucket.
 
Oct 13, 2006
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It doesn't matter how MS reports Xbox numbers, it's influence on the shares is severely limited if at all.

The primary reason why MS chose to report this way is because it simply looks bad next to Sony numbers if they gave the real numbers. They are not the first company to do this, heck Sony did it last gen (Playstation family) and got mocked for it. Now MS is doing it, so people have fuck all to talk about in these threads, except giving MS a bit of shit of putting us in this situation.
It's not the primary reason, but it may be part of the reason.

Nadella rolled the Xbox division into the Windows group (one of his three pillars) and explicitly said that Xbox Live and the first-party studio efforts are to drive usage across Windows 10 devices, including the Xbox One. In other words, it's a featured service for Windows 10 users now and it's common practice to use MAU as a success metric for online services.

You'll notice they say that Surface was a highlight for them, but yet you don't see hardware sales there either. You see this isn't about singling out Xbox. It's that the hardware group, also rolled into the Windows division, is being charged with developing devices that help create more Windows users. The Windows group reports number of Windows users every now and then, but have yet to release hardware numbers and it's unlikely they will.

The old structure had Xbox as its own business. Those days are over and they're never coming back.
 
Jul 31, 2013
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It doesn't matter how MS reports Xbox numbers, it's influence on the shares is severely limited if at all.

The primary reason why MS chose to report this way is because it simply looks bad next to Sony numbers if they gave the real numbers. They are not the first company to do this, heck Sony did it last gen (Playstation family) and got mocked for it. Now MS is doing it, so people have fuck all to talk about in these threads, except giving MS a bit of shit of putting us in this situation.
reporting MAU makes sense to report to investors, though. if games released on the Windows Store could only be played through the Xbox App on W10 and was combined with XB1 numbers, along with North from releasing a Xbox App on their next phone for mobile games to be played in (similar to game center but it's all one ecosystem), they would most likely end up with more users than Steam and encourage users to stay within their products. Would investors care if the XB1 sold less than the PS4 if XBL made so much more? Second place wouldn't seem so bad because their gaming division would still have more opportunities to make money than Sony.

Edit: pretty much beaten.
 

generic_username

I switched to an alt account to ditch my embarrassing tag so I could be an embarrassing Naughty Dog fanboy in peace. Ask me anything!
Jan 2, 2016
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reporting MAU makes sense to report to investors, though. if games released on the Windows Store could only be played through the Xbox App on W10 and was combined with XB1 numbers, along with North from releasing a Xbox App on their next phone for mobile games to be played in (similar to game center but it's all one ecosystem), they would most likely end up with more users than Steam and encourage users to stay within their products. Would investors care if the XB1 sold less than the PS4 if XBL made so much more? Second place wouldn't seem so bad because their gaming division would still have more opportunities to make money than Sony.

Edit: pretty much beaten.
MAU can only grow if more devices are being bought so of course investors would care if XB1 sold less than PS4. If there are more people buying PS4 there are more people MS is losing to Sony's ecosystem. Investors dont care right now because Xbox is not an important enough business to warrant that. Xbox as a platform has brought in miniscule profit since its inception if at all. Investors dont care all that much about how well the platform is doing in the grand scheme of things.-
 
Oct 13, 2006
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MAU can only grow if more devices are being bought so of course investors would care if XB1 sold less than PS4. If there are more people buying PS4 there are more people MS is losing to Sony's ecosystem. Investors dont care right now because Xbox is not an important enough business to warrant that. Xbox as a platform has brought in miniscule profit since its inception if at all. Investors dont care all that much about how well the platform is doing in the grand scheme of things.-
Xbox Live MAU can grow with the number of Windows 10 installations.

Spencer declared nearly a year ago at GDC 2015 that the vision is to allow Xbox Live consumers to play any Xbox game on any Windows 10 device they want. Given how many of their games this year are coming to both Windows 10 and Xbox One I'd say they're moving very quickly to realize that vision.

Xbox isn't its own business within MS any more. Nadella restructured the whole company to support 3 products--Windows, Azure, and Office. He said everything else is a feature of those products, to drive consumer preference of those products. He moved all hardware and Xbox into the Windows/OS group to drive growth of Windows. Spencer reports to the EVP of Windows. Xbox hardware was moved onto the Hardware team, same team that does Surface. Not sure what else is needed to convince you that Xbox console sales are a tiny part of the picture going forward when the CEO wants to use the Xbox division to increase Windows usage on all Windows 10 devices.
 
Jun 9, 2004
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It isn't hate. It's mocking, and rightly so. Trying to hide your sales with spin and nonsense will always be mocked. Just like Sony was for the PlayStation family stuff last gen.
Or you know learn that each company has done so and will continue to do so in the future. So nothing you do [mocking] is going to change that. They are not going to release numbers for the internet warriors.
 

generic_username

I switched to an alt account to ditch my embarrassing tag so I could be an embarrassing Naughty Dog fanboy in peace. Ask me anything!
Jan 2, 2016
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Xbox Live MAU can grow with the number of Windows 10 installations.

Spencer declared nearly a year ago at GDC 2015 that the vision is to allow Xbox Live consumers to play any Xbox game on any Windows 10 device they want. Given how many of their games this year are coming to both Windows 10 and Xbox One I'd say they're moving very quickly to realize that vision.

Xbox isn't its own business within MS any more. Nadella restructured the whole company to support 3 products--Windows, Azure, and Office. He said everything else is a feature of those products, to drive consumer preference of those products. He moved all hardware and Xbox into the Windows/OS group to drive growth of Windows. Spencer reports to the EVP of Windows. Xbox hardware was moved onto the Hardware team, same team that does Surface. Not sure what else is needed to convince you that Xbox console sales are a tiny part of the picture going forward when the CEO wants to use the Xbox division to increase Windows usage on all Windows 10 devices.
Bolded is true but Xbox Live MAU can also importantly grow with Xbox One sales so I fail to understand how your explanation undermines the importance of Xbox one hardware sales?
 
Oct 13, 2006
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Bolded is true but Xbox Live MAU can also importantly grow with Xbox One sales so I fail to understand how your explanation undermines the importance of Xbox one hardware sales?
The growth of Windows, gaming usage of Windows, and revenue from gaming on Windows is not solely dependent on Xbox One sales. Why waste a bullet on that when Microsoft is not a gaming company and they've repurposed their gaming initiatives to support all of Windows 10, not just a single device?
 
Sep 11, 2011
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The growth of Windows, gaming usage of Windows, and revenue from gaming on Windows is not solely dependent on Xbox One sales. Why waste a bullet on that when Microsoft is not a gaming company and they've repurposed their gaming initiatives to support all of Windows 10, not just a single device?
The numbers are likely terrible, that's why MS are possibly obfuscating as hard as they can. This is nothing new, companies do it all the time - they are not interested in giving investors all the details.
 
Oct 13, 2006
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The numbers are likely terrible, that's why MS are possibly obfuscating as hard as they can. This is nothing new, companies do it all the time - they are not interested in giving investors all the details.
Whatever floats your boat.

I don't see other cloud and mobile companies breaking down hardware sales. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't recall Amazon providing any hardware numbers even though their services extend into a lot of different devices. Microsoft has vastly more in common with them these days than they do with Sony or Nintendo. Google sometimes provides hardware sales as one-off highlights, but they're hardly consistent about it.
 
Aug 20, 2014
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Whatever floats your boat.

I don't see other cloud and mobile companies breaking down hardware sales. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't recall Amazon providing any hardware numbers even though their services extend into a lot of different devices. Microsoft has vastly more in common with them these days than they do with Sony or Nintendo. Google sometimes provides hardware sales as one-off highlights, but they're hardly consistent about it.
MS couldn't wait to give 360 numbers why do you think that's changed this gen?
 
Jan 23, 2007
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Microsoft has vastly more in common with [Amazon] these days than they do with Sony or Nintendo.
If you're right, then they should quit making Xbox hardware. That's costing them way too much money for the amount of ecosystem buy-in it drives.

Or instead, they should radically alter what an Xbox is. Rather than a premium, core-focused gaming device, it really should embrace "TV TV TV NFL TV" and be a cheap connected device with no disc drive.
 
Oct 13, 2006
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MS couldn't wait to give 360 numbers why do you think that's changed this gen?
Quite a few things actually.

1) Ballmer's Devices and Services strategy was thrown out by Nadella when he took over in mid 2014
2) Nadella declared Microsoft is a Productivity and Platform company that is cloud and mobile first
3) Nadella restructured the entire company, focusing on three products and realigning everything else to support the growth of those three products, part of which was repurposing Xbox as a Windows 10 feature

In Ballmer's world, it was about selling devices and the attach of services. In Nadella's world it's about mobile and cloud first, taking digital work and life experiences with you across screens.

I already admitted that the relatively poor performance of the Xbox One in comparison to the PS4 could very well be part of the reason they changed metrics. That's a guess at best and that's all I'll give you. I'm choosing not to stick my head in the sand and actually tune into what their CEO has changed and what he has explicitly stated for context. There's no debating he's repurposed Xbox as a service in his mobile-first, cloud-first vision and, like with most device agnostic services MAU makes perfect sense.

If you're right, then they should quit making Xbox hardware. That's costing them way too much money for the amount of ecosystem buy-in it drives.

Or instead, they should radically alter what an Xbox is. Rather than a premium, core-focused gaming device, it really should embrace "TV TV TV NFL TV" and be a cheap connected device with no disc drive.
Nadella said they will continue making hardware that highlights innovative Windows experiences. It's really up to the Windows team.

It will be interesting to see what the Windows Hardware team does with it. I think they'll still make a premium device, just like they make premium devices like the Surface Pro and Surface Book, but I wouldn't put it past them to make entry-level devices, too.
 

John Harker

Definitely doesn't make things up as he goes along.
Feb 26, 2005
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Does anyone else currently use MAU as a metric right now or is this just breaking their own records versus records in the industry?
Every service uses MAU and PCU as metrics.

It's their way of saying, their service offerings are more of an impact than their product sales offerings on their P&L. It makes sense. They shifted focus to sustained consumer relationship business and ARPU model. Growing hardware install base is a tactic now for that overall strategy.
 
Jan 14, 2014
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Yeah but people putting the effort to make a Xbox Live account out of their MS account or otherwise is impressive. If they login and keep logging in is what's important for retention, making them long-term MAU.
They dont make an XBox Account. Every Microsoft Account is an XBOX Account.
 

Fox_Mulder

Rockefellers. Skull and Bones. Microsoft. Al Qaeda. A Cabal of Bankers. The melting point of steel. What do these things have in common? Wake up sheeple, the landfill wasn't even REAL!
Jun 22, 2010
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48 million > 37.7 million

Microsoft wins
 

GHG

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This only means something if we know what they define as an active MAU.

There is an Xbox app that comes pre-installed on all windows phones running Windows 10. Do they count?
 
Jul 24, 2015
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Well done MSFT, the Surface line is stellar as is W10.

X1 ain't bad either ;)
I keep hearing that. However Windows phone devices (and we know they are dead already) had revenue of 2.3 billion, Surface line had 1.3 billion. If we call Windows phone a failure Surface sure isn't a stellar success. Yes, they are great products (as are Windows phones) but they aren't anywhere close to being a true success story. That's likely less than a million Surface products sold in the quarter. After three years in the market you'd expect more, Apple sells five times as many Macs in a quarter.

Xbox consoles at 6.6 million shipped for the quarter is pretty successful. I'd expect a little over 5 million to be Xbox Ones. Which isn't too shabby compared with Sony's 8 million PS4 for the quarter.

There is an Xbox app that comes pre-installed on all windows phones running Windows 10. Do they count?
All five of them? Pretty sure a MAU is just what you'd expect it to be, an Xbox Live user. No matter on what device he is active. Chances are people that own a Windows phone or Windows 10 but not a 360 or One don't use those apps.
 
Oct 14, 2013
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It kinda goes both ways, they sold 80 million 360s so the fact that only 46 million are using Xbox Live including 15-20 million on Xbox One, and even without Windows sounds rather rubbish. It might seem odd to use their metric but it probably gives Microsoft a better idea if people actually like and use their product and opens the possibility of being interested in the ecosystem and other services.
 
Nov 11, 2015
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I keep hearing that. However Windows phone devices (and we know they are dead already) had revenue of 2.3 billion, Surface line had 1.3 billion. If we call Windows phone a failure Surface sure isn't a stellar success. Yes, they are great products (as are Windows phones) but they aren't anywhere close to being a true success story. That's likely less than a million Surface products sold in the quarter. After three years in the market you'd expect more, Apple sells five times as many Macs in a quarter.

Xbox consoles at 6.6 million shipped for the quarter is pretty successful. I'd expect a little over 5 million to be Xbox Ones. Which isn't too shabby compared with Sony's 8 million PS4 for the quarter.



All five of them? Pretty sure a MAU is just what you'd expect it to be, an Xbox Live user. No matter on what device he is active. Chances are people that own a Windows phone or Windows 10 but not a 360 or One don't use those apps.
If Surfaces weren't a success or not selling you wouldn't have every major computer company try to copy them. Is it IPAD huge, no. But it doesn't have to be to be successful.
 
Aug 31, 2013
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It doesn't matter how MS reports Xbox numbers, it's influence on the shares is severely limited if at all.

The primary reason why MS chose to report this way is because it simply looks bad next to Sony numbers if they gave the real numbers. They are not the first company to do this, heck Sony did it last gen (Playstation family) and got mocked for it. Now MS is doing it, so people have fuck all to talk about in these threads, except giving MS a bit of shit of putting us in this situation.
People keep saying this, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. For example, Live MAU has hit 48M, but PSN MAU was 64M a year ago, so how is that a favorable comparison for MS, especially when the Live numbers are heavily bolstered by W10 users? (Already ~20M coming out of September.)

Meanwhile, Nintendo continue to report their hardware numbers, and supposedly they're even worse than Microsoft's. Even though Apple sold 74.8M iPhones last quarter, MS had no trouble telling us they sold only 4.5M Lumias in the same period, just 1.1% of the smartphone market.

It's almost like rather than simply being ashamed of their poor performance, they're trying to tell their investors about the stuff that does matter to MS, no matter how poorly it's doing. Nah, that can't be it.
 
Oct 26, 2014
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Software services are selling very well for MS. Hell even Apple doesnt make most of its money from iPhone. It comes from selling things like music, apps, applecare ect. Thats were the mula is now.
Sauce?

Apple makes most of its money from iPhone. iTunes and software are actually even behind Macs I believe.