For months, years even, Microsoft has switched gears from console sales - focusing instead on services, player engagement, and simply running a healthy business with Xbox. Comments from the team suggest that business is indeed good - despite that not always translating directly into console sales. These recent figures do look stark based on the direct competition, but Microsoft has all-but admitted defeat in pure hardware sales anyway.
Sure, Xbox may have already 'lost the console wars' when it comes to pure unit sales, but how important is that to the company in 2023? It's still spending silly amounts of money on acquisitions to grow Xbox as a brand, and years ago Microsoft admitted that it never really makes money on console sales anyway. Everyone wants to sell what they're building, sure, but it isn't just Xbox Series X|S that Microsoft's gaming division is building these days.
That broader meaning for 'Xbox' has come into even stronger focus with the Activision Blizzard deal. We got to see some absolutely crazy documents while Microsoft and Sony were bickering back and forth - where Microsoft basically admitted third place in console sales. King has always been a major part of the ActiBlizz deal due to the team's mobile reach - and Xbox's continuing pursuit of the company in the face of huge levels of scrutiny shows Microsoft understands which battles it should now fight.