Nintendo Switch was the best-selling video game console worldwide in 2021, selling over 25 million units across the globe. One of the latest entrants to the market, the Sony PlayStation 5, sold about 12.6 million units in 2021.
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 PlayStation 4 sales in Europe reached more than 48 million units alone, Microsoft’s global Xbox One Sales are yet to reach 50 million units 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, Switch global sales have already reached over 78 million units worldwide, with approximately a third of the regional console sales occurring 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 released their next-generation consoles in the lead up to the 2020 holiday season as PlayStation 5 and Xbox S respectively. Forecasts already suggest that Sony may continue to have the upper hand, as sales of its PlayStation 5 are due to hit 50 million by 2023. In comparison, estimates have Microsoft’s Xbox Series X sales reaching 3.3 million units in 2020 and just 30 million by 2023.
Current generation video game console unit sales worldwide from 2017 to 2021
(in million units)
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VGChartz. (February 15, 2022). Current generation video game console unit sales worldwide from 2017 to 2021 (in million units) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved August 08, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/276768/global-unit-sales-of-video-game-consoles/
VGChartz. "Current generation video game console unit sales worldwide from 2017 to 2021 (in million units) ." Chart. February 15, 2022. Statista. Accessed August 08, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/276768/global-unit-sales-of-video-game-consoles/
VGChartz. (2022). Current generation video game console unit sales worldwide from 2017 to 2021 (in million units) . Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: August 08, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/276768/global-unit-sales-of-video-game-consoles/
VGChartz. "Current Generation Video Game Console Unit Sales Worldwide from 2017 to 2021 (in Million Units) ." Statista, Statista Inc., 15 Feb 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/276768/global-unit-sales-of-video-game-consoles/
VGChartz, Current generation video game console unit sales worldwide from 2017 to 2021 (in million units) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/276768/global-unit-sales-of-video-game-consoles/ (last visited August 08, 2022)