Sony’s PlayStation 4 was the best-selling video game console worldwide in 2019, selling almost 18.3 million units across the globe. This figure was almost three times higher than its direct rival, Microsoft’s Xbox One, and almost two million units more than Nintendo’s latest console offering, the Nintendo Switch. Since its release in November 2013, the PlayStation 4 has sold well over 100 million units worldwide.
The modern-day console wars
While the term “console wars” was originally coined to describe the rivalry between Sega and Nintendo in the video game market during the 1980s and 1990s, the modern usage refers to the battle for supremacy between the PlayStation and Xbox brands. The most recent battle between these console giants has been fought out between their eight-generation consoles, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. However, while the PlayStation 4 has sold almost 45 million units in Europe alone, Microsoft’s console is yet to reach 50 million unit sales worldwide. This duel has also turned into a three-way battle thanks to the enormous success of Nintendo’s hybrid video game console, the Nintendo Switch. Despite being released over three years later than its rivals, the console has already racked up over 62 million unit sales worldwide, approximately a third of which were in North America.
The future of console gaming
This fight for supremacy shows no signs of slowing down with the next battle of the console wars upon the horizon. Following years of speculation, both Sony and Microsoft are due to release their next generation consoles in the lead up to the 2020 holiday season. Forecasts already suggest that Sony may continue to have the upper hand, as sales of its PlayStation 5 are due to hit almost five million within the first few months and 50 million by 2023. In comparison, estimates have Microsoft shipping 3.3 million units of its Xbox Series X in 2020 and just 30 million by 2023.
Forecast unit sales of the Xbox Series X worldwide from 2020 to 2024
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VGChartz. (July 2, 2020). Forecast unit sales of the Xbox Series X worldwide from 2020 to 2024 (in millions) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved June 25, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1124788/unit-sales-xbox-series-x-worldwide/
VGChartz. "Forecast unit sales of the Xbox Series X worldwide from 2020 to 2024 (in millions)." Chart. July 2, 2020. Statista. Accessed June 25, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1124788/unit-sales-xbox-series-x-worldwide/
VGChartz. (2020). Forecast unit sales of the Xbox Series X worldwide from 2020 to 2024 (in millions). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: June 25, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1124788/unit-sales-xbox-series-x-worldwide/
VGChartz. "Forecast Unit Sales of The Xbox Series X Worldwide from 2020 to 2024 (in Millions)." Statista, Statista Inc., 2 Jul 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1124788/unit-sales-xbox-series-x-worldwide/
VGChartz, Forecast unit sales of the Xbox Series X worldwide from 2020 to 2024 (in millions) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1124788/unit-sales-xbox-series-x-worldwide/ (last visited June 25, 2022)