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Xbox One outsold PS4 during the month of July, according to Microsoft and NPD

Could Microsoft have lifted its moratorium on not disclosing Xbox One sales numbers?

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Xbox One outsold PlayStation 4 during the month of July. The news comes from NPD Group (via GameSpot), who has gathered sales data from last month and broken down the numbers. NPD won't release an official report until sometime next week, but both it and Microsoft have verified the news.

"We’re honored that Xbox One was the best-selling console in the U.S. in July, and that total gaming hours on Xbox consoles globally were up 18 percent over last year, reaching 1.55 billion hours," according to Mike Nichols, Corporate Vice President of Xbox Marketing, in an email. "These results followed an exciting E3 where we showcased an exceptional lineup of new games, new devices and enhancements to Xbox Live shipping to Xbox fans over the next year."

At first glance, this news might seem to fall under the news-that-really-isn't category of news coverage. The significance lies in the fact that Sony has routinely sold more PS4s than Microsoft has sold Xbox One consoles since the machines launched in November 2013. Sony has more notches in its belt than Microsoft, which hasn't claimed the number-one spot since October 2015.

Microsoft decided to stop sharing Xbox One sales numbers all the way back in November 2014, just one year after the console's launch. Instead, the company has been focusing on every statistic except console sales, namely hours played and active users on Xbox Live.

For all we know, Microsoft might not include sales data in next week's report. I'd venture to guess the company had to give NPD Group a peek at the very least, though, in order for the announcement to go through.

This news is also surprising given that the sales data pertains to the original Xbox One, rather than the recently launched Xbox One S, which did not go on sale until earlier this month. Logic dictates that an updated console model would cut into sales of older hardware, but that does not seem to be the case.

Microsoft plans to release more Xbox One S consoles later this month. The model with the 2TB hard drive has sold out, and there are no plans to replenish stock. If you waited to pull the trigger on an S, you'll have to go for a model that includes a smaller hard drive.

"Later this month on August 23, we will launch 500GB and 1TB options for Xbox One S at $299 and $349, respectively. We’re excited about all the fun gamers are having on Xbox One and all the new releases we’ll be bringing them this holiday."

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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