The Xbox One is officially dead. RIP. It will not be missed.
It’s come to light that Microsoft ended production of the Xbox One S in the final months of 2020, just as its two next-gen consoles—the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S—were set to go on sale. “To focus on production of Xbox Series X/S, we stopped production for all Xbox One consoles by the end of 2020,” Cindy Walker, senior director of Xbox console product marketing, told The Verge.
The death of the Xbox One S is the final nail in the coffin for the Xbox One line of consoles. In July 2020, Microsoft stopped production of the Xbox One X (first released in 2017) and axed the all-digital edition of the Xbox One S (which had been around for about a year before its demise). Both of those consoles served as a dual-model-line replacement for the launch-edition Xbox One, which Microsoft stopped producing in 2017.
You might feel an urge to say something respectful here, like “pour one out” or “RIP to a real one,” but…honestly? Do you? The Xbox One sucked! From its 2013 announcement as a machine on which you’d watch TV and sports and mayyybe sometimes play video games, the Xbox One struggled. Toward the end of its run, if you played a glossy AAA game, you could almost feel the thing wheezing under the pressure.
Total hardware figures aren’t publicly available for the entire Xbox One line—Microsoft famously prioritizes monthly active users as its primary metric—but analysts estimate it sold around 51 million units as of 2020.
Putting it generously, the Xbox One was a trial run for the Xbox Series X—the console I primarily use to play games, mind you, in case you’re gearing up to accuse me of console war propaganda. The new generation console functions on the same core operating system as the Xbox One but runs, by my math, about a thousand times more efficiently. (Though I haven’t had a chance to play one yet, I’ve heard terrific things about the smaller, lesser-powered Xbox Series S, too.)
So far, even though hard sales figures haven’t been made public, those of the Xbox Series X/S are outpacing the Xbox One’s. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said as much on an earnings call last July. Xbox head Phil Spencer, affirmed it again in a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times earlier this week.
It’s a savvy move for Microsoft to have granted the Xbox One an early death. Yes, it’s still tough as hell to get your hands on the top-shelf Xbox Series X ($499). But the Xbox Series S, which sells for the same price as the Xbox One S ($299), is more broadly available. During Black Friday week, the busiest shopping period of the year, the Xbox Series S outsold any other gaming console—including the then-brand-new Nintendo Switch OLED Model.
In other news, according to a Bloomberg report, Sony recently ramped up production of the PlayStation 4 to compensate for widespread PlayStation 5 shortages.