Microsoft admits Xbox "lost the console wars"

Xbox Series X/S
(Image credit: Xbox)

Microsoft says Xbox "lost the console wars."

Today marks the beginning of the US's Federal Trade Commission versus Microsoft case, as the latter battled the regulator to approve its attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard King. In the process, Microsoft is keen to show Xbox is in third place, thus making it look less dominant in acquiring the company.

As part of this strategy though, Microsoft admits that Xbox "lost the console wars." As reported by The Verge, Xbox states that in 2021 it had just 16% of total console sales, and that same year, it had just 21% of the total console install base. We don't know whether this is just in the US, or around the world.

Unfortunately, Xbox redacts the parts where they reveal what shares Nintendo and PlayStation controlled of the overall console market. You've got to imagine the Nintendo Switch was beating the PS5 in 2021, considering the latter's supply shortages at the time, but it'd still be interesting to know by how much.

It's very curious for Xbox to admit these figures out in public. The company obviously isn't afraid to make themselves look bad - and two years ago, at that - if it means securing their attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard King.

It's also really, really funny. You can expect the console warriors will be out in full force over this comment, whether it's PlayStation fans going in on Xbox fans, or the latter trying to somehow refute Microsoft's new comments and somehow bend those stats into reading better than they actually are.

This is clearly what Microsoft thinks it's going to take to land them Activision Blizzard King, and the cost couldn't be higher.

Check out our upcoming Xbox Series X games guide for a look ahead at all the exclusives coming to Xbox's new-gen console over the coming year.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.