Game Consoles

What Is the Best-Selling Game Console of All Time?

For the longest time, industry observers and pundits thought the PlayStation 2's overall global sales were unattainable by any other platform. After all, its successors never even managed to breach the 100-million mark, and neither did its contemporary rivals — with one notable exception. Nintendo's Wii, which was sold between 2006 and 2017 and therefore available four years longer than the PlayStation 2, racked up 102 million lifetime sales. The Nintendo Switch, released in March 2017, can still be seen as a potential candidate for dethroning Sony's best-selling console, even though it's clear that the handheld has lost some of its appeal despite Nintendo claiming to want to support the Switch for years to come.

As of March 31, 2024, Nintendo had sold more than 141 million units of the Switch, adding about two million for the quarter and 15.7 million for the fiscal year 2023. Despite the boost gained by the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom in May 2023, which sold 20 million copies by March 2024, it was the weakest year for Switch hardware sales since 2018. Important to note: When factoring out the far less adaptable Lite version of the Switch platform, the hybrid console and its OLED variant drops from second to third rank with 117.8 million lifetime units sold.

Apart from Nintendo, Sony has dominated the gaming landscape for the past two and a half decades, with three of its PlayStation consoles in the top 4. According to official figures from Sony, the company has sold more than 155 million PS2 units since its launch, making it the most successful living room video game console. After next week's quarterly results announcement by the entertainment company, its current-generation console PlayStation 5 will most likely enter the top 8 best-selling game consoles, muscling out the Nintendo Entertainment System and upping the number of PlayStations in the top 8 to four.

While its competitors Sony and Microsoft have already moved on to the next console generation in 2020, Nintendo held out on a next-gen version of its hybrid handheld, even though rumors about the announcement of a Switch 2 have been circulating for some time. Following the release of the Japanese company's most recent financial results, which showed an after-tax profit of $2.8 billion on revenues of $10.4 billion and a profit margin of 55 percent for its fiscal year, Nintendo's president offered some clarification on the future of the game maker's handheld console on Twitter. According to Shuntarō Furukawa, the company will share official information on the next-gen Switch in the upcoming fiscal year, which runs until the end of March 2025, but not in time for the next software-focused Nintendo Direct in June. The exact contents of this upcoming announcement are, as of now, unknown.

Description

This chart shows estimated lifetime unit sales of the best-selling home video game consoles.

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PlayStation 4 lifetime unit sales worldwide 2023, by region
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PlayStation 4 unit sales in Europe 2013-2022
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Global unit sales of Sony PlayStation 4 consoles 2014-2023
Most downloaded PS4 games in 2023, by region
Global PS4 and PS5 user engagement 2023
Global PS4 consumer spend FY 2013-2021, by type

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