Xbox console sales falter, but Game Pass subscribers are on the rise

Xbox Series X/S
(Image credit: Xbox )

Xbox hardware sales have declined of late, but Xbox Game Pass subscriber numbers have grown.

Microsoft recently published its second quarter financial results for the 2023 fiscal year, earlier today on January 25. As shown in a presentation (opens in new tab), both gaming and hardware revenue has declined by 13% compared with the same period the previous fiscal year.

This effectively means Microsoft has sold less games, and less consoles when compared to the second quarter of the 2022 fiscal year. Elsewhere, the report reveals "Xbox content and services revenue" has also declined by 12% when compared to the same period last year.

However, the report does note that this drop in sales is partially offset by the growth in subscribers to Xbox Game Pass. Despite game and hardware sales declining year-on-year, Xbox Game Pass has seemingly held strong for Microsoft, although exact subscriber count figures for the service haven't been revealed in the new report, so we don't know exactly how much the service has grown.

Xbox Game Pass has had some stellar additions over the back half of 2022, such as Grounded's full launch, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and Monster Hunter Rise debuting on the service earlier this month. Perhaps the growth in subscriptions to the service shouldn't come as s surprise, then, given the relatively stellar line-up over the past few months.

Looking ahead, Xbox Game Pass will launch blockbuster titles like Starfield and Redfall at some point later this year on day one for Xbox Series X/S and PC players. Given this, it wouldn't be a surprise if 2023 shows even further growth for Xbox Game Pass.

Check out our guide to the best games on Xbox Game Pass if you're thinking about getting in on the action. 

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.